Jeff Chiba Stearns is an Emmy® nominated and Webby award-winning animation and documentary filmmaker, as well as an acclaimed graphic novel writer and illustrator. After graduating from the Emily Carr University with a degree in Film Animation, he founded Vancouver-based boutique animation studio and publishing company Meditating Bunny Studio Inc. in 2001. Jeff’s short and feature length films such as Yellow Sticky Notes (2007), One Big Hapa Family (2020) and Mixed Match (2016) have broadcast around the world, screened in hundreds of international film festivals and garnered dozens of awards.
Jeff has written and illustrated the children’s books Mixed Critters (2018) and Nori and His Delicious Dreams (2020) and recently released his best-selling first graphic novel, On Being Yukiko (2021), an intergenerational Japanese Canadian story on family history and cultural identity. On Being Yukiko has just been translated to Japanese with an anticipated 2023 Spring release. He coined the term Hapanimation to describe his style of blending anime and manga with a North American cartoon aesthetic.
He has been featured in dozens of publications and presented his work at over one hundred universities including Harvard, Cornell and Yale. Jeff has been the recipient of the Cultural Pioneer Award (2011) presented by Harvard University, Emily Award (2010) presented by the Emily Carr University and Cultural Diversity Award (2017) presented by the Vancouver Asian Film Festival. Jeff is also the host of the upcoming animation podcast, Animation Meditation and the creative director for the pre-school animated series The Treebees.