Jeff Chiba Stearns was born in Kelowna, BC, of European and Japanese heritage. He graduated from Emily Carr with a degree in Film Animation. In 2001, he founded Mediating Bunny Animation Studio Inc. Due to September 11 and the crumbling Vancouver animation industry, Jeff decided to obtain a degree in education at UBC and become a teacher.
Fortunately, Jeff’s hard work in pursuing his dream in film animation was not in vain. One Big Hapa Family (2010) achieved the studio’s first award. The featured-length documentary is about children of mixed-Japanese descent and Japanese Canadian interracial marriages. The film has been broadcasted on OMNI, KCTS 9, Knowledge Network and screened at international festivals and universities. The studio has produced commercial and viral video for 3M, Generali, and Sharpie and Post-it Note.
For the details of Jeff’s journey after high school to his success with Media Bunny Studio, check out the short video Yellow Stick Notes.
Several of Jeff’s films are focused on mixed-race identity, multi-ethnic and cultural awareness. In What Are You Anyways?, he explains that the word Hapa is a Hawaiian term for Asians of mixed race. He coined the term “Hapanimation” to describe his unique blend of North American and Japanese animation styles.
Jeff will be at Youth Media Day on July 20 to share his experience and insight on indie film financing and distribution.
Meditating Bunny Studio Homepage
Meditating Bunny Studio Youtube Channel
Upcoming film Mixed Match