Jeff Chiba Stearns is an Emmy® nominated and Webby award-winning animation and documentary filmmaker, as well as an acclaimed author and illustrator. After graduating from the Emily Carr University with a degree in Film Animation, he founded Vancouver-based boutique animation studio and publishing company Meditating Bunny Studio Inc. in 2001. Jeff’s short and feature length films, including “What Are You Anyways?” (2005), Yellow Sticky Notes (2007), One Big Hapa Family (2010), Ode to a Post-it Note (2010), Yellow Sticky Notes | Canadian Anijam (2013) and Mixed Match (2016), have broadcast around the world, screened in hundreds of international film festivals and garnered dozens of awards.
Being Yonsei, fourth generation Japanese Canadian, and having mixed Japanese and European roots, Jeff’s work often deals with themes of multiethnic identity. Released in 2005, his short film “What Are You Anyways?” was the first animated film to ever address themes of mixed race identity. He coined the term Hapanimation to describe his style of blending anime and manga with a North American cartoon aesthetic. He has lectured and presented his films at over one hundred universities including Harvard, Cornell and Yale. In 2010, he received the Emily Award from the Emily Carr University of Art and Design for his outstanding achievements as an alumnus, and in 2011, Harvard University awarded him the Cultural Pioneer Award for his exploration of multiethnic identity.
In 2018, he wrote and illustrated his first picture book Mixed Critters, an ABC book inspired by his own children’s mixed Japanese backgrounds. Nori and His Delicious Dreams (2020), Jeff’s second children’s book, features a Japanese Canadian boy named Nori who dreams of sleeping in foods from around the world. On Being Yukiko (2021), Jeff’s best-selling graphic novel, is a collaborative project created with Sansei artist Lillian Michiko Blakey and features an intergenerational story addressing both themes of Japanese Canadian history and mixed identity. He is also a co-founder of Canada’s largest festival celebrating multiracial arts and culture, the Hapa-palooza Festival in Vancouver, BC. To learn more about Jeff and order his books, please visit www.meditatingbunny.com