On The Cusp, Longlist - Branded, Short Film - Non Fiction
Shortlist - Branded
Shortlist - Short Film - Non Fiction
Winner - Silver
Short Film - Non Fiction
Winner - Silver


Sebastian Hill-Esbrand

Kiddo Films

1. "Family" is Episode Two of the Living On series, an experimental video project series that brings together young people, researchers and filmmakers in Vancouver. These short films allow young people to author and illustrate their own stories about drug use, overdose and living through loss. 2. One of the most challenging parts was the casting process. We locked the cast via remote auditions in December then postponed the shoot for a month. I had to heal from Covid early January and, by the time we ran the first rehearsal, it was two days before the shoot. It was then I realised the young and older version of our protagonist looked completely different. I left the rehearsal crippled with anxiety, wondering if I was going to put myself under the stress of recasting a day before the shoot. Was it even possible to cast an older version in the timeframe? Who could it be? Was what I had really that noticeable? And, besides that, will I even have a chance to really audition them or will I just have to wing it? If so, shouldn’t I just keep with what I have already? Yeah I was freaking out, but I did it, and four months later, it worked out. 3. The film is narrated by the real subject. We bonded and chatted about life for three hours. They spoke about their experiences with so much indifference while myself, and everyone in the room, listened with a curious and empathetic ear. The narrator had tried to forget about these memories but was open and vulnerable with me. Mind you, they were also stoked that someone was going to turn their life story into a film. I’d like to say it was a cathartic experience for both of us.

Sebastian is a Caribbean/Australian filmmaker based in Vancouver, BC. Through his international upbringing he has learnt that there is power in diversity, as well as an importance of having intersectionality portrayed on screen. He has garnered acknowledgment from Shots.net, Hot Docs, Berlin Fashion Film Festival and Cannes Young Director Award.