Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Yellow Sticky Notes Fall Film Festival Screenings!

Yellow Sticky Notes will be screening at a bunch of film festivals this fall. Yellow Sticky Notes will be screening at the Vancouver International, Calgary International, Atlantic, Hawaii, San Diego Asian, DC Asian, Vancouver Asian, TallGrass, and Whistler Film Festivals.

YSN will also be screening internationally at the Singapore Animation Nation, 6st International Film Festival on Peace and Human Rights - Barcelona, Spain, and Taipei Golden Horse Film Festival International Digital Animation Short Films Competition.

Here are a few screening dates and times:

*Vancouver International Film Festival*

Screening with: General Idea: Art, AIDS, and the fin de si├Ęcle
• Monday, September 29th 9:45pm
at Empire Granville 7 Theatre 1

• Wednesday, October 1st 3:00pm
at Empire Granville 7 Theatre 1

*Calgary International Film Festival*

Screening with Simple Reflections Shorts
• Saturday, September 27, 2008
5:00 PM – Plaza ($12)

• Screening with Meadowlark
Tue. Sep. 23, 2008
9:45 PM – Globe Upstairs ($12)
617 - 8th Avenue SW

*Atlantic Film Festival*

• Frame X Frame
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
7:05 PM - Empire 8 Park Lane – 7

*DC Asian Pacific American Film Festival*

• Sunday, September 28th, 2008
4:00PM - Goethe-Institut

*San Diego Asian Film Festival*

Screening as part of the Animation Showcase
• Saturday October 11, 2:20pm
• Wednesday October 15, 7:00pm
• Thursday October 23, 9:20pm

*Hawaii International Film Festival*

• Saturday October 11, 12:00pm

Tuesday, July 15, 2008


Purchase a DVD of Yellow Sticky Notes for $14 CAD (includes shipping and handling) by ordering through PayPal - Only NTSC Region '0' DVD's available.

Simply click
on the button below and use your credit or bank card to order a DVD - international orders accepted

Also available - DVD's of Jeff's previous award-winning hapanimated film, "What Are You Anyways?" for $14 USD or CAD (includes shipping and handling) - pay via check or PayPal button below

Or order both Yellow Sticky Notes and "What Are You Anyways?" as a package for $25 USD or CAD (includes shipping and handling) - pay via check or PayPal button below

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Monday, May 26, 2008

61st Yorkton Short Film and Video Festival

I just got back in yesterday from the 61st Yorkton Short Film and Video Festival where my film Yellow Sticky Notes was up for Best Animation and I was up for Best Director Fiction. It is the longest running festival of its kind in North America and is like no other film festival I've ever been to. Yorkton is about a 2 hour drive from Regina. The city boasts a modest population of 15,000 residents but the city itself really embraces this yearly festival. After getting back from Tribeca in New York and Pangea Day in LA, Yorkton was a nice and strange change of pace. Great small town hospitality and warmth greeted all the visiting filmmakers and delegates. The Yorkton Short Film and Video Festival is best known for its prestigious Golden Sheaf Awards.

I was fortunate to win my category for Best Animation...which was the first time in 12 years a non-NFB animated film won. Actually I was up against 4 other NFB animations this year. Funny that a small film with a $100 budget used to buy yellow sticky notes and black markers could compete and win against films with $150,000 budgets. Yorkton wasn't all about award galas and films. I was also there pitching One Big Hapa Family to the broadcasters that were there. I met with Joanne McDonald from SCN along with Sarah Jane Flynn from Canwest where I was able to pitch my new doc. I also met John Dippong from Telefilm Executive Feature Film, Western Region and some great filmmakers like Randall Okita, Penny Ward, Steve Wolfson, Sheona McDonald, and John Bessai. Overall, Yorkton was a great time and unlike any other festival I've ever been!

Golden Sheaf Awards Gala

Partying with the some of the cast of Corner Gas and Jennifer Chen from Ouat! Media

With festival winners Randall Okita and Sheona McDonald

With John Dippong and Joanne McDonald

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Pangea Day 2008

I was very fortunate to have my film Yellow Sticky Notes take part in the first ever Pangea Day. From May 8th to the 10th, Pangea Day brought together 100 filmmakers from around the world to participate in an event where these filmmakers came together to create one global film community. They flew me out to LA, put me up in the Sheridan Delfino in Santa Monica and threw some great parties along with a mind blowing filmmaker retreat. The Pangea Day event was on Saturday. All the filmmakers got to go to the Sony Studios - Studio 15 (where the filmed the Wizard of Oz) to watch the live taping of the four hour show that was broadcast live around the world.

Pangea Day can be described as a global event bringing the world together through film.

Why? In a world where people are often divided by borders, difference, and conflict, it's easy to lose sight of what we all have in common. Pangea Day seeks to overcome that – to help people see themselves in others – through the power of film.

Starting at 18:00 GMT on May 10, 2008, locations in Cairo, Kigali, London, Los Angeles, Mumbai, and Rio de Janeiro will be linked for a live program of powerful films, live music, and visionary speakers. The entire program will be broadcast – in seven languages – to millions of people worldwide through the internet, television, and mobile phones.

The 24 short films to be featured have been selected from an international competition that generated more than 2,500 submissions from over one hundred countries. The films were chosen based on their ability to inspire, transform, and allow us see the world through another person's eyes. Details on the Pangea Day films can be viewed here at

The program will also include a number of exceptional speakers and musical performers. Queen Noor of Jordan, CNN's Christiane Amanpour, musician/activist Bob Geldof, and Iranian rock phenom Hypernova are among those taking part.

The Filmmaker Retreat featured many guest speakers including Deborah Scraton, Matthew Modine, Lee Daniels, Duncan North, Lawrence Bender, Marco Williams, Carline Baron, Alex Gibney, Chris Anderson, Jehane Noujaim, Queen Noor, and Ken Ralston.

The entire three days was amazing and the Pangea Day wrap-party was a blast. I met some amazing and inspiring international filmmakers during those three days, and at then end, we were all a sad to have to go home. Everyone went away from the event inspired and honored to have had the opportunity to interact and learn from each other. It was truly one of the most magical experiences I have had so far as a filmmaker!

With Ted Chung and Marc Osbourne - Director of Dreamworks Kung Fu Panda

Filmmakers at the Filmmaker Retreat

The Filmmaker Retreat setup at the Sony Studios

Pangea Day set

Actress Cameron Diaz

Actress Meg Ryan

Dave Stewart performing at the Pangea Day event

Pangea Day finale

At the Pangea Day Wrap-Party in Beverly Hills

With Matt Groening - creator of The Simpsons

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Tribeca Film Festival 2008

This year I had my US Premiere of my animated film Yellow Sticky Notes at the prestigious Tribeca Film Festival in New York. Truly one of the biggest film festivals I've participated in, I was able to attend the full festival run from April 23rd to May 4th.

Robert De Niro, Jane Rosenthal and Craig Hatkoff founded the Tribeca Film Festival in 2001 following the attacks on the World Trade Center to spur the economic and cultural revitalization of lower Manhattan through an annual celebration of film, music and culture. The Festival’s mission focuses on assisting filmmakers to reach the broadest possible audience, enabling the international film community and general public to experience the power of cinema and promoting New York City as a major filmmaking center.

Yellow Sticky Notes played in the Window Seat shorts program. 4 of the 5 screenings sold out. The screening that didn't sellout was still 3/4 full. The film screened to great reception from the audience and we had some great Q&A sessions. Almost every filmmaker who had a film in the program was present for at least 2 or 3 of their screenings. Since I was at Tribeca for the full run of the festival, I was able to be at every screening.

The parties, galas, and receptions were nothing short of amazing. Lots of free booze, free food, and tons of smoozing. I met a lot of talented filmmakers, press, distributors, festival directors, and film lovers. It was a great atmosphere. Even though every day was filled with interviews, press, screenings, receptions, and parties, I still managed to find time to do some tourist stuff. I attended tapings of the Late Show with David Letterman, Conan O'brien, checked out a Yankees game, walked around Central Park, and saw the Statue of Liberty.

Overall, it was a great experience. Enjoy some of the photos from my trip!

With Saturday Night Live actress Molly Shannon

With Jessica, Brian and Joe - filmmakers in the Window Seat Shorts Program

View from the Tribeca Shorts Filmmaker Party

Hanging out with some filmmakers at the Tribeca Short Filmmaker Party

Baby Mama Gala Party - April 23, 2008

With animation filmmaker Bill Plympton - Bill has been a big inspiration to my work and is one of the reasons I wanted to create independent classical animation!

The Entertainment Weekly Shorts Interview - check it out at

Actor Robert De Niro - Tribeca Film Festival Founder

The Awards After Party at the Mansion

Awards Wrap-Party - with Shiloh Strong, Rider Strong, Sheryl Santacruz, and Leetal Platt

Me with Genevieve Vincent - Yellow Sticky Notes' composer

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

April/May US Screening dates for Yellow Sticky Notes

Here's some screening dates for the US...if you have friends in these areas please tell them to come out and see Yellow Sticky Notes! Thanks for the support!

Tribeca Film Festival - Manhattan, New York
As part of Window Seat Shorts Program:
Friday, April 25, 1:45 pm, AV7-04
Sunday, April 27, 6:45 pm, A19-03
Tuesday, April 29, 3:45 pm, AV7-07
Saturday, May 3, 11:15 am, VEC-03
Sunday, May 4, 7:00 pm, VEC-05
AMC Village VII (AV7) - 66 Third Avenue (at 11th Street)
AMC 19th Street East (A19) - 890 Broadway (at 19th Street)
Village East Cinemas (VEC) - 181 Second Avenue (at 12th Street)
Order tickets at

Newport Beach Film Festival - Newport Beach, California
As part of the Animate Me Shorts Program:
Friday, April 25 at 4:15pm
Order tickets at

Disorient Film Festival - Eugene, Oregon
As part of Homegrown Shorts Program:
Saturday, April 26th at 1:15pm
Bijou Art Cinemas
Order tickets at

VC Asian Film Festival - Los Angeles, California
Dates to be announced:
Check out for updates on screening times and dates

Good news! Yellow Sticky Notes has recently been awarded the:

- 2008 Youth Jury Honourable Mention: 12th Freeze Frame International Festival of Film for Kids of All Ages

- 2008 Remi Award Winner for Best Animated (Classic Cel Animation): 41st WorldFest - Houston Remi Awards

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Citizen Shift - One Big Hapa Family Production Blog

I've been commissioned by the National Film Board of Canada to maintain a production blog for my next documentary One Big Hapa Family. I will be adding posts every few days about the progress of my next production. So far it's been quite the battle to get things going. Especially with all that's being going on lately with Yellow Sticky Notes and getting distribution for "What Are You Anyways?" So, getting One Big Hapa Family going has been tough to say the least. Anyways, this is my first venture into live action and the first documentary I've ever created. It should be an interesting adventure. I invite you to follow my adventures at:

Here's an example of my first post on February 15th, 2008:

Being based in Kelowna, I’m heading off to Vancouver tomorrow to meet with my producer, Ruth Vincent about my documentary One Big Hapa Family. This will be the first time we will have met after I revised my original proposal a few weeks ago. Needless to say, after I revised the proposal, it was over 7 pages long…and according to Ruth, 4 pages too long.

So far I’ve secured funding with my first version of the proposal last year by obtaining grant money from the British Columbia Arts Council, National Association of Japanese Canadians Endowment Fund for Cultural Development, and the National Film Board through a Filmmaker Assistance Program grant. The original proposal was intended to make a short documentary. Around 8 - 12 minutes long. After some discussion with Ruth a few months back, we decided this concept could possibly work for TV. So I went about revising the proposal for a 44 minute broadcast hour documentary. We’re hoping to submit the new proposal with the hope of obtaining a pre-license fee and maybe even securing a second window broadcaster.

Here’s a synopsis for the revised One Big Hapa Family documentary:

One Big Hapa Family is a 44-minute high definition live-action with animation documentary that highlights a Japanese-Canadian family reunion. The documentary explores why over 95% of Japanese-Canadians are in interracial marriages, the highest out of any other ethnicity in Canada, and how their children perceive their multiracial identities. Animation and narration are used to transition from narrative story structures to interview formats while exploring a unique outlook on Canadian multiculturalism from the perspective of Japanese-Canadian children of mixed decent, interracial couples, and opinions from Japanese elders who lived through WWII.

This blog will be a diary focusing on the pre-production, production, and post-production One Big Hapa Family. Being half-Japanese and half-European decent, the topics covered in One Big Hapa Family are very personal to me. In my animated film, “What Are You Anyways?” I explored my own experiences growing up of mixed-Asian decent in the small Canadian city of Kelowna. The film had phenomenal success screening at over 40 international film festival and winning 7 awards. Recently I just finished a new classically animated film, Yellow Sticky Notes, which premiered at the Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival where it won the Animasian Award for Best Animation. The film was created using over 2300 yellow sticky notes and animated straight ahead with only a black ink pen.

My filmmaking is created using thousands of hand drawn images. With One Big Hapa Family, this will be my first venture into the realm of live action. I’m bound to make a ton of mistakes along the way and I know making this documentary will be a true adventure that will push my filmmaking to the limit. This blog will serve to entertain, educate, and inspire people to see just what it takes to make a long form documentary from a guy who’s used to making all his films by hand with a pencil and some paper. This blog will be candid, honest, and real and highlight the process of creating a broadcast documentary from a guy who knows nothing about making a documentary!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Yellow Sticky Notes Wins an Elan Award - Press Release

Vancouver - During the 2008 Elan Awards, Video Game, Animation Industry and Digital Art Students turned out in full force to celebrate Canadian supremacy in the fastest growing entertainment industry in the world. Canadian video game developers and publishers, animators and studio heads and the brightest students and top academia gathered at the 2nd annual Canadian Awards for Electronic and Animated Arts (CAEAA) held at The Centre in Vancouver for the Performing Arts in eager anticipation to learn the winning names behind some of the biggest games and shows in North America.

Animation filmmaker and Kelowna resident, Jeff Chiba Stearns, took home an Elan award for Best Animated Short Subject for his film, Yellow Sticky Notes at the awards show, described as the Oscars of the Canadian video game and animation industry. The February 15th evening event was hosted by Family Guy creator Seth McFarlane. Awards were presented in 36 categories in three sectors of the Electronic and Animated Arts industry: animation industry, video game development, and student talent development. Each winner was presented with an Elan – a statuette similar to an Oscar but constructed of a majestic man and a woman resembling Greek gods holding up the world.

This is the second year in a row Chiba Stearns’ animated short films have won in the category of Best Short Animated Subject. In 2006, during the first annual Elans, his classically animated short film, “What Are You Anyways?”, a autobiographical recollection of Chiba Stearns’ life experiences growing up in Kelowna with a bi-racial background won in the same category. Yellow Sticky Notes, created on a budget of $100, was animated directly on over 2300 yellow sticky notes with nothing more than a black ink pen. After realizing that yellow sticky note “to do” lists were consuming his life, Chiba Stearns finally decided to visually self-reflect on his filmmaking journey by animating on the same sticky notes that caused him to ignore major world events for the last nine years. Animation meditation is blended with image, text, and an original musical score by Genevieve Vincent through the creation of a classically animated experimental film. The entire process of animating on these sticky notes took Chiba Stearns over nine months and was created through an animated stream of consciousness.

After a world premiere of Yellow Sticky Notes at the Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival in November, where it took home the Animasian Award for Best Animated Film at the festival, the film continues to gain accolades worldwide. Yellow Sticky Notes has begun its worldwide theatrical release by joining the infamous Spike and Mike’s Sick and Twisted Festival of Animation 2008 tour. As well, the film continues to tour on the international film festival circuit.

“I am extremely honored and excited to receive an Elan for Best Animated Short Subject at the 2008 CAEAA Awards. It means a great deal to be recognized by my peers in the Canadian animation industry for the work I am doing in independent classical animation. Yellow Sticky Notes is a very personal film and I’m grateful that I’ve been able to showcase it internationally. I can only hope for continued success with all my future projects and that my work will continue to touch the lives of people around the world.”

Currently, Chiba Stearns is in pre-development of a 44-minute documentary on mixed-race identity and interracial marriage entitled One Big Hapa Family. The documentary explores the explosive statistic of how 95% of Japanese Canadians are in interracial marriages and asks Japanese children of mixed decent about their multiracial identities. Look for new film by Chiba Stearns to be released in early 2009. Check out for current updates.

For those in based in the Okanagan area, Yellow Sticky Notes will be screening for free as part of the Kelowna Art Gallery Film Nights series. The film will screen on Feb. 28th at 7pm at the Kelowna Art Gallery with the feature length documentary Social Genocide. Jeff will be on hand to introduce the film and conduct a Q&A session after the screening. DVD’s of Yellow Sticky Notes are also available for purchase at Komatsu Japanese Market in Kelowna and the Nikkei Place Museum in Burnaby.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Clip 2 from Yellow Sticky Notes and YSN joins the Spike and Mike's Animation Tour!

Here is a longer clip from the award-winning film Yellow Sticky Notes! Also, just so you know, keep an eye out for Yellow Sticky Notes hitting a city near you as part of the 2008 Spike and Mike's Sick and Twisted Festival of Animation. Yellow Sticky Notes isn't all that sick or twisted but it's been getting rave reviews from people who've seen the show in Detroit and other US cities so far.

If you are interested in buying a DVD copy of the film, they are $12 (which includes shipping) and available by emailing me at