A typical Californian tattooed biker of Native American and Mexican roots builds Koi ponds and Japanese gardens for his celebrity clients and suddenly discovers a silent “American immigrants' tragedy”.

Behind common things a tragedy can be hidden.
WaveDesign Production and Management Hanako Koi Ponds Bearz production 2019

The message

The Nothern American history is a plexus of fortunes and misfortunes of immigrants, came from different cultural backgrounds to settle up on these lands. It is hard to be together with someone very different, to accept unusual and to be accepted as deserved, but we have to remember that only cooperation brings beautiful bloom and enjoyable fruits, not a fight, destruction and humiliation.
The Koi Zone documentary reminds of horrible mistakes made in the past, that could have led to a poor future,  and shows how the virtue of accepting things that differ, works for our benefits.

In the KOI ZONE documentary we will literally and figuratively “dig” into the favorite Californian adornment of life - Koi ponds and Japanese gardens, the favorable zen zone for koi fish. They are symbols of peace, good luck and prosperity and are so favorite among Californian home owners and seekers of spiritual development and peace of mind. And the deeper our Lead Character digs into the new construction, the deeper we go, following his clients, into the story of koi and Japanese gardens in USA. We will see here the history of Japanese immigrants to Northern America, who initially met a brutal rejection from local inhabitants and survived an unfair iniquity, a tragedy during the WWII.

The characters of the Koi Zone documentary themselves are all of different ancestries - the Pond Builder is Native American/Mexican, his Assistant and Client Manager - Polish, the Client Couple are Russian and German, the Garden Designer - Japanese. United in the process of building the Koi Zone in the traditional Japanese way, they will learn about each other and about gifts of appreciation.

It is very important to remember in both - today’s politically unstable transnational relations and in peer-to-peer people’s relationships, that rejecting natural cultural integration, rejecting something we currently don’t understand, means the risk of losing the diamond of a future prosperity.


JOEY Acevedo, a native Californian, part Native American and part Mexican, tattooed biker, is a long time professional koi pond builder. He says that

if a pond for koi fish and a surrounding territory are all organized correctly to provide a safe life for koi, then it is also healthy and healing for every other living creature, including humans. Joey calls this area, full of good vibes, the KOI ZONE.
Koi Zone is a territory, safe for koi and safe for any living creature Sure, his crew pays attention to proper landscaping when designing a pond's environing. Sure thing, pretty much of the design elements are replicas of traditional koi fish environment, which is the Japanese zen garden.

While Joey is more concerned about technical part of the project, ALINA - his recently hired assistant and agent - a “fresh” immigrant to USA, a pretty lady with Eastern European roots and curious mind, is more interested in philosophical and spiritual aspects of breeding koi and designing zen gardens.

The Koi Zone crew starts a new pond project at a married couple’s front yard in Los Angeles. The new clients are busy film directors and producers. JULIA’s roots are in Russia, DANIEL’s - in Germany. None of them knows anything about the culture of having koi fish pets but, being a highly busy people, they dream about some special relaxation area at home. Being, also, very intelligent and creative individuals, they want to learn themselves about the Japanese garden designing and about the koi breeding.

So, with the new pond going deeper, Joey and Alina take their clients to see Japanese gardens and koi shops in Los Angeles to choose elements of their own Koi Zone. Meeting different people, professional landscapers and koi breeders, mostly Japanese, they all grow knowing deeper into the story of Japanese gardens in California, and, no doubts, more of sad details about the Japanese-American survival in the detention camps during the WWII, in which Russians and Germans (coincidentally, Julia’s and Daniel’s ancestors) were leaders, fighting against each other. These "occasional" connections are impressive for all!

Since that unplanned investigation and learning experience, our Russian’n’German friends enjoy the Koi Zone environment even more. They respect the majesty of koi, now, with a full understanding and strong believe in its peaceful power and beautiful friendliness, symbolizing loyalty, important when we meet others.

The loyalty is important when we meet others...


Koi is a very old fish adored in many civilizations, both Eastern and Western, They are associated with number of virtues important for the survival. In Fang-Shui, images and sculptures of Koi fish bring abundance and prosperity in homes.

With their strong and purposeful energy, koi are symbols of Longevity, Resilience, Go-getting, Peace and calmness, Beauty and Ascendance of one’s value.

Koi are hardy creatures and can live more than 100 years. The famous koi named Hanako lived till 225 years old. Joey's business works under the name of Hanako - it is Hanako Koi Ponds.

Koi are fish capable of adapting in various climates and water conditions. They are also good at swimming against the current.

They will find food even in the least expected places. They remind us to look deeper for diamonds even in the dirt, as all challenging aspects of life have something to teach.

Being unique in colors and shapes, they are a symbol of beauty, harmony and an individual value.

They swim slowly, considering every move, and are very friendly not only to other fish species but also to humans.


About the Author, Director and Producer
Vita Ramanenka


About Joey Acevedo

About the Hanako Koi Ponds pond builder (the Joey’s own business)

About Alina Kalinowska

About Julia Butler and Daniel Mentz

Photographs by Vita Ramanenka