Lively City: Burnaby filmmaker premieres documentary at VIFF

A Burnaby filmmaker’s documentary is having its world premiere at the Vancouver International Film Festival next week.

Jeff Chiba Stearns’ Mixed Match shows twice at VIFF: Tuesday, Oct. 4 at the Rio Theatre and Thursday, Oct. 6 at Cineplex International Village.

article continues below

The film tells the stories of mixed race blood cancer patients who must confront their multiracial identities and genetics as they struggle with the search to find bone marrow donors.

“The difficulty of finding a bone marrow donor is a worldwide issue that affects tens of thousands of people a year,” Stearns said in a press release. “Few people know about this topic, and I wanted to clear up misconceptions and encourage more minorities and multiethnic people to help increase patients’ odds of finding a match by becoming bone marrow donors and donating to umbilical cord stem cell banks.”

Stearns, who is of Japanese, English, Scottish, Russian and German ancestry, is hoping the film will spark a dialogue on mixed identity and ethnicity in medicine.

“My work focuses on my multiracial identity, and this subject is an important topic as we see multiethnic people becoming the fastest growing demographic in North America,” he said. “Some people may not even be aware they have mixed heritage until they, or someone they know, needs a transplant themselves.”

To help raise awareness and find donors, OtherHalf – a registered charity that targets Chinese underrepresentation in the global stem cell donor registry – will be on hand at the second screening to help register people aged 17 to 35 to join Canadian Blood Services’ national bone marrow registry.

For all the details or to buy tickets, see



Film fans, don’t forget about another film event even closer to home.

The Burnaby Arts Council is presenting the Burnaby Film Forum on Friday, Sept. 30 at 6 p.m., part of local Culture Days events.

The 6 p.m. film forum will include a film screening, with awards and reception to follow.

The arts council received more than 500 submissions, representing some 60 nations, in response to its call for short films of no more than four minutes in length. Twenty of the best submissions were chosen and are being presented in a one-hour screening that covers a wide cross-section of genres, from experimental to documentary.

All the fun is happening at the James Cowan Theatre at the Shadbolt Centre for the Arts. Check out for more details – or just turn up. It’s free, and it’s suitable for the family.



A Burnaby actor is front and centre as Gateway Theatre opens its new season in October.

Andrea Yu is starring in the Canadian premiere of King of the Yees – the story of Lauren Yee’s search for her missing father, Larry, in San Francisco.

“To find him, Lauren embarks on a fantastic journey through the heart of the city’s Chinatown, where she confronts a world that is completely foreign and utterly familiar at the same time,” a press release says. “Yee offers humour and heart-breaking honesty in equal measure as she explores the cultural and generational divide that separates fathers and daughters.”

The show is directed by Sherry J. Yoon and also stars Jovanni Sy as Larry, with Raugi Yu, Donna Soares and Milton Lim in a variety of roles.

It’s onstage at the Gateway Theatre, 6500 Gilbert Rd., Richmond, from Oct. 13 to 22, with official opening on Friday, Oct. 14.

Check out for information and tickets, or call the box office at 604-270-1812.



Interested in Indonesian culture?

The Nikkei National Museum and Cultural Centre is hosting Alun-Alun 2016, an Indonesian food and cultural show, on Saturday, Oct. 8.

The festival is set to run from noon to 5 p.m.

Check out for details.


Do you have an item for Lively City? Send arts and entertainment suggestions to Julie,, or find her on Twitter @juliemaclellan.

Read Related Topics

© Burnaby Now


NOTE: To post a comment you must have an account with at least one of the following services: Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, Google+ You may then login using your account credentials for that service. If you do not already have an account you may register a new profile with Disqus by first clicking the "Post as" button and then the link: "Don't have one? Register a new profile".

Please keep your comments, clean, civil and respectful. Comments deemed inappropriate or libelous will be removed. The Burnaby NOW makes no guarantee of comments’ factual accuracy.

The Burnaby Now welcomes your opinions and comments. We do not allow personal attacks, offensive language or unsubstantiated allegations. We reserve the right to edit comments for length, style, legality and taste and reproduce them in print, electronic or otherwise. For further information, please contact the editor or publisher, or see our Terms and Conditions.

comments powered by Disqus

Popular Burnaby Now

Community Events Calendar