Ann Marie Fleming: Award-winning Canadian Filmmaker

Posted by: Roy Wilbur

Ann Marie Fleming is an award-winning Canadian independent filmmaker, writer and artist, born in Okinawa, of Chinese and Australian parentage. Her film work incorporates various techniques: animation, documentary, experimental, dramatic and primarily deals with themes of family, history and memory.

Fleming’s Window Horses, featuring the voice of Sandra Oh is currently touring, internationally, and will have its Philadelphia premiere at the “2017 MooreWomenArtists: Women in Animation Film Festival” on March 24.  It is a feature-length animated father-daughter story that involves poetry and immigrants and takes place in Shiraz, Iran.  She has also developed an urban planning app riffing on her animated musical project Big Trees, about real estate in Vancouver, a markerless AR app for Shanghai Follies and a haiku “Stickgirl” (her avatar) oracle app for her poetry film.

In 2010, Fleming created an animated short based on the illustrated memoir by Bernice Eisenstein, I Was A Child of Holocaust Survivors.  It was on the TIFF “Top Ten” list of films for 2010 and won best animated film at the Reel2Real Youth Film Festival and best short from the Women’s International Film & Television Showcase.    She did a segment for the CBC’s “Definitely Not the Opera’s” website, interpreting a segment of the life and times of Sook-Yin Lee.  She also made a PSA for an atrial l fibrillation for the heart and stroke foundation.

In 2009, Fleming made an animated web-series for Discovery USA’s called “My Place”, where “Stickgirl” tries her best to come up with Green solutions to everyday problems.

In 2008, she completed a five-minute animated film starring her avatar called Running (heart body mind spirit). It was commissioned by the Victoria Film Festival as part of the Victoria Symphony’s “Reel Music”, a competition for composers across Canada to score to new work, and was screened with the live 80-piece symphony.

She has also made an animated karaoke video, interpreting the Fleetwood Mac song, “Landslide”, which premiered at the Reel Asian Film Festival in Toronto in the fall of that same year.

Her graphic novel, The Magical Life of Long Tack Sam, was published in September of 2007 (adapted from her same-named documentary film), and is on the American Library Association’s list of “10 Best Graphic Novels for Teens.  It was nominated for two Eisner Awards and won the Doug Wright “Best Book Award” for graphic novels in Canada.

In 2007, she also made M.O.O.D. (My Obscure Object of Desire), as part of Bravo’s series of cellphone films. It premiered at the Festival du Nouveau Cinema in Montreal, and the series was awarded an International Emmy for best multi-platform programming.

In 2005, Fleming finished two projects: Room 710, an animated short revolving around a murder witness, and The French Guy, a feature length dark comedy.  She also had a solo multimedia show featuring rugs by Ontario hookers at the Richmond Art Gallery, exploring the many-layered themes of Lip Service.  She was presented with the Vancouver Arts Award for Media Arts for her contribution to the community.

In 2003, she finished the multi-award-winning animated documentary The Magical Life of Long Tack Sam, about the search for the life and times of her great grandfather, a travelling Chinese vaudevillian acrobat and magician. In 2002, she created the inspirational Blue Skies, a reaction to the events of 9/11, as well as a riff on events in Long Tack Sam’s life. It won best Canadian Short Film at the Toronto International Film Festival and has played on screens from India to Iran and on TV in Canada, the US and China.


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