VIDEO OF THE YEAR | Justin Stephenson, Gord Downie | | The JUNO Awards

Justin Stephenson is an award-winning filmmaker and moving image designer.

Working with Gord Downie and Jeff Lemire, Justin directed the animation, edited, and supervised the design on the new animated film, The Secret Path. It tells the true story of Chanie Wenjack, a twelve-year-old boy who escaped from the Cecilia Jeffrey Indian Residential School near Kenora, Ontario. While attempting to walk 600 kilometres home to Ogaki Post, Chanie died on October 22, 1966.

Last year, Justin released The Complete Works based on the work of renowned avant-garde author and poet, bpNichol. The film toured internationally at film and literature festivals, and won two Golden Sheaf awards at the 2016 Yorkton Film Festival: Best Arts and Culture Doc, and The Founders Award for best film depicting a historical Canadian figure.

Justin studied photographic arts at Ryerson University and continued with a graduate degree in communications and cultural studies at York University, researching the relationship between avant-garde writing and digital recombinatory art – the remixing of different media materials.

Justin’s work focuses on materialities – the physical qualities of subjects and media. For example, the ink, paper and letterforms used in his title work for David Cronenberg’s A Dangerous Method, in which the narrative is staged on letter writing.

Developing concepts through process, Justin takes a hands-on approach with all aspects of production from the direction, design, editing, and animation through to post production.

Aside from filmmaking and film title work, Justin also directs and designs sequences for television, commercials, interactive media, and live performance. He created the video design and projections for Fujuwara Dance Inventions’ production of Christian Bök’s Eunoia, and the animation design for the 2015 remounting of Robert Lepage’s Erwartung and Bluebeard’s Castle with The Canadian Opera Company.