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 www.hapanimation.com 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.

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