Manufactured Fortunes

Kevin Gordon USA 2011 5min

A fortune cookie's journey from factory to restaurant sets the backdrop for a whimsical exploration of the human quest for meaning. This film is an ode to the factory films of the 1920s. 

Nearest and Dearest

Michael Sieber and Max Stöhr Germany 2013 6min

When the world’s best big sister is moving away, you really need a good plan to prevent her from leaving.

In German with English subtitles.

Passer Passer

Louis Morton USA 2013 4min

An animated city symphony celebrates the hidden world of background noise.

No dialogue.

Louis Morton is an animator and designer. He received a BFA from the University of Illinois and an MFA in animation and digital arts from USC's School of Cinematic Arts, where he was an Annenberg fellow. He is currently directing his next short film, a recipient of an Alfred P. Sloan Foundation grant, while working as a freelance designer and animator in Los Angeles.

Shame and Glasses

Alessandro Ricondo Italy 2013 7min

Mirko has to face his worst fear: wearing glasses. That is the only way to do his school test, but what would happen if the girl he is secretly in love with could see him?

In Italian with English subtitles.

The Red Carpet (La Alfombra Roja)

Iosu López and Manuel Fernández Spain 2012 11min

Vancouver Premiere

Born into poverty in the Garib Nagar slum in Mumbai, India, twelve-year-old Rubina was featured in the Academy Award–winning film Slumdog Millionaire. It was an experience that has given her a burning desire to become an actress. Although Rubina is unsure what her future holds, she dreams of seeing herself on the screen once again.

In Hindi with English subtitles.


We Don't Wanna Make You Dance

Lucy Kostelanetz USA 2013 95min


The rock/funk band Miller, Miller, Miller and Sloan hoped to make it big in 1980s New York City music scene. They had talent, a unique sound, and fans—everything but a record deal. This documentary is full of surprises, irreverent humour, and poignancy. Click here to see the film's website and trailer.

Themes: coming of age, music, creativity, do it yourself (DIY)

Recommended for ages 13+

Note: this program screens as part of the Youth Media Conference for high school students

Filmmaker Lucy Kostelanetz premiered her first documentary feature SONIA in 2007 in film festivals around the world as well as the MOMA Documentary Fortnight. Her previous work included two award-winning films for children, REBEKA GOES DOWN THE SLIDE and REBEKA GOES TO CHINA (R2R 2000). Lucy also worked at the New York State Council on the Arts during its early creative, idealistic period (1968-1981), and has served twice on the Board of International Film Seminars, presenter of the Robert Flaherty Film Seminar, and as their president from 2000-2001.

Whispers of Life

Florian Halbedl Canada 2013 11min

When disruptive and threatening bullies interrupt Tom's after-school safe haven, Charles, a stranger, actively uses Tom's imagination to challenge the gay teenager's thoughts of suicide.

Director Florian Halbedl will be in attendance.

Producer Joshua M. Ferguson will be in attendance.


Florian Halbedl was born in Luzern, Switzerland in 1985. At an early age, Halbedl’s affinity and attraction to making films was clear while re-enacting scenes from various films with his brother and friends. Growing up in a small town in the Swiss mountains, the local cinema was a novelty for German-dubbed Hollywood movies. In 2000, Halbedl immigrated to Canada with his family. During high school in Toronto he became a dedicated member at the school’s Film Society, which sparked his interest in ‘foreign’ films. While studying Medical Sciences at the University of Western Ontario, he shot his first short film for a Vertebrate Biology class. After switching one of his majors to Film Studies, Halbedl graduated with a double major in Film Studies and Medical Sciences and immediately began his professional career in Vancouver. Halbedl quickly realized that working with assistant directors would expose him to the knowledge and energy of filmmaking and has been working, as part of the assistant director teams, on shows such as Supernatural, Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters, Once Upon a Time, and most recently Gareth Edward’s Godzilla. Halbedl wrote and directed the timely Whispers of Life, a dramatic magic realism short film about gay youth, bullying and suicide, which is currently screening at festivals internationally.

Yellow Sticky Notes: Canadian Anijam

Jeff Chiba Stearns and friends Canada 2012 8min

A roster of artists displays the full spectrum of Canadian animation talent as each animates a single diary entry using nothing other than a black marker and some yellow sticky notes. 

Featuring animation from the original Anijam creator Marv Newland along with Oscar® winners Alison Snowden and David Fine and Academy® Award nominees Cordell Barker, Janet Perlman, Chris Hinton, and Paul Driessen. For the film, animators were asked to self-reflect through animation on personal and global events that impacted one day of their lives. Each of the animators created their sequences independent of knowing what the other participants were creating. Starting with a 'to do' list written on the day of a life-altering event, the animators transitioned from text to imagery by utilizing 'animation meditation' to create a visual animated poem representing how their lives were affected by that pivotal day. In the end, the thousands of sticky note drawings link together to create a dynamic and inspirational animated film that connects the human spirit while celebrating individual artistic expression with the goal of inspiring future generations of animators.

Jeff Chiba Stearns is an award-winning animation and documentary filmmaker, illustrator and writer. Born in Kelowna, BC, of Japanese and European heritage, he graduated from the Emily Carr University of Art and Design with a degree in Film Animation (2001). Soon after, he founded Meditating Bunny Studio Inc. specializing in the creation of animated and documentary films and innovative animated commercials. His studio has won 32 awards including a Webby Award in 2011 and an Emmy® nomination in 2012. His short animated film Yellow Sticky Notes (2007), winner of the Prix du Public at the prestigious Clermont-Ferrand Short Film Festival was animated with just a black pen on over 2300 sticky notes and is the official selection of over 80 international film festivals, winning 10 awards. Yellow Sticky Notes was also one of the first films acquired by YouTube’s Screening Room and has since achieved over 1.8 million views.


Yolanda Centeno USA, Spain 2014 9min

Pedro is a chess prodigy who is frustrated because he has no friends. He decides to apply the chess techniques he’s mastered to get what he wants most.  There ‘s only one problem: he’s never faced a zugzwang before.

A situation in a chess game in which a player is forced to make an undesirable or disadvantageous move.