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Mystery of the Secret Room

Mystery of the Secret Room

| 5 min

This animated short introduces us to Grace, a 10-year-old girl who uses her creative superpowers to navigate the emotional landscape of her mother's depression. It's an inspiring portrait of family, adversity, and resilience.

Using hand-drawn animation to bring two distinct worlds together – the muted, solid world of reality and the saturated palette of Grace's imagination – the film offers a textured story full of surprises, challenges, and emotions. A moving collaboration between writer/filmmaker Wanda Nolan and animator Claire Blanchet.

  • writer
    Wanda Nolan
  • director
    Wanda Nolan
  • art director
    Claire Blanchet
  • animation supervisor
    Claire Blanchet
  • animation
    Hyun Jin Park
    Claire Blanchet
    Simon Cottee
    Malcolm Sutherland
  • compositing
    Fred Casia
  • original music
    Jeff Johnston
  • sound design
    Kyle Stanfield
  • violin
    Kate Bevan-Baker
  • clarinet
    Louise Campbell
  • piano
    Jeff Johnston
  • foley
    Lise Wedlock
  • foley recording
    Geoffrey Mitchell
  • music recording
    Geoffrey Mitchell
  • technical director
    Éloi Champagne
  • technical animation coordinator
    Randall Finnerty
  • still photography
    Victoria Wells
    Carol Kean
  • titles
    Mélanie Bouchard
  • online editor
    Serge Verreault
  • re-recording
    Jean Paul Vialard
  • post-production supervisor
    Jean-François Laprise
    Roslyn Power
  • post-production assistant
    Mylène Augustin
  • senior production coordinator
    Kelly Davis
  • studio administrator
    Leslie Anne Poyntz
  • marketing manager
    Melissa Wheeler
  • legal counsel
    Dominique Aubry
  • associate producer
    Jon Montes
  • producer
    Annette Clarke
  • executive producer
    Annette Clarke


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Ages 10 to 18

Study Guide - Guide 1

English Language Arts - Children's Stories/Fables
Health/Personal Development - Mental Health/Stress/Suicide
Media Education - Film Animation

This animated short without words explores 10-year-old Grace’s experiences with her mom’s depression. Use as an introduction to the process of providing mental health support. Why is there no dialogue in this short? What do you think the animals and imaginary world represent for Grace? Books and films can often serve as a means of supporting our mental health in difficult times. As a class, brainstorm ways you can support yourself during a difficult or lonely time.

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