No Bully, No Problem



Whether you're a hedgehog defending the place you call home or a young person trying to find your place in the world, these films inspire us to push back and take a stand, and demonstrate that unapologetically being who you are is satisfying and powerful.

Themes: finding your voice, self-reliance, adolescence, injustice, love, gender roles, bullying

Recommended for grades 5-7

This program screens as part of REEL FOCUS for elementary schools.

Flash Flood

A mix of rotoscope animation and documentary techniques invite the viewer into the inner life and struggle of three young gender non-conforming people. With rational and composed simplicity they discuss their experience within a social binary that excludes them. Alli MacKay is an alumni filmmaker and Best Picture winner of R2R’s Youth Filmmaker Showcase for their student project, Air Pressure. MacKay graduated from Emily Carr University of Art + Design and Flash Flood is their grad project; it premiered at Festival du Nouveau Cinema in Quebec, and showed at the Whistler Film Festival recently. 

Note: Director Alli MacKay will be in attendance for a Q&A

Themes: youth empowerment, queer (trans/non-binary), identity, community connection, isolation

Hedgehog's Home

This brilliant Canadian animation premiered at the Berlin Film Festival. Set in a lush and lively forest there lives a hedgehog, and although he's respected by the other animals, his devotion to his humble home annoys the other beasts. Eventually Hedgehog must take a stand against the intimidation, and he uses his words wisely. Poetic dialogue flows freely and the seamless stop-motion animation is as majestic as the source material.

Themes: animation, animals, survival, bullying

In a Heartbeat

No dialogue.

Running the risk of being outed by his own heart, a young boy frantically chases his physical heart when it spontaneously pops out of his chest toward the boy of his dreams. A truly original rendering of the classic love at first sight narrative. In a Heartbeat is shortlisted for an Academy Award. 

Themes: queer youth (gay), first crush, shame and acceptance, love

The Catch

Morgan loves fly fishing in the river near her house. She also likes a boy, but believes that boys don’t like girls who fish. Compounded by the problem of smelling like a fish, Morgan is mocked for smelling like something else that supposedly smells like fish--though she doesn't quite know what it refers to yet. With dignity, swimming against the current, Morgan embodies an inspiring strength of character in the face of immature schoolyard bullies.

Themes: bullying, coming of age, outsider experience, shame/acceptance, youth empowerment, rumors

Advisory: The terms "pussy" and “lesbian” are used as pejoratives. A young girl pierces her own ear and it bleeds on screen.



On the way to school, during school, and after school, Mae is taunted and chased by a few classmates. At home she faces scrutiny for not fitting in at school. As an attempt to indulge her imagination and maintain her sanity, shy Mae made a felt horse mask as a protective totem. TRiGGA reminds us of the importance of imagination as resistance against cruelty. 

Themes: bullying, coming of age, outsider experience, art, self-resilience, fantasy

Advisory: instances of physical threats