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Whispers of Life

An imaginative fable about bullying and teen suicide

Year: 2013, 11 mins - NTSC
Code: TLP-Whispers


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Whispers of Life is inspired by the onslaught of publicized gay, teen suicides. This short film works as an artistic intervention to challenge the societal taboo of suicide, the pervasive and damaging eff ects of anti-gay bullying and the fact that these issues are not discussed openly.

“This film has tremendous value as a tool of education, awareness, and prevention related to suicide among LGBTQ youth. Whispers of Life should be a resource in schools of all levels (i.e., elementary, high school, middle school or junior high, and post-secondary), community settings, and in health-related programs aimed to promote education about sexual and gender diversity.”
- Treena Orchard, Faculty of Health Sciences, The University of Western Ontario.

In this magical story about the interdependence of imagination and survival, Tom, a gay teenager, is bullied by his peers and is contemplating suicide.

“Whispers of Life is a beautiful and touching short film. It is very timely in our environment and will help educate and touch human emotions in a way that can shift our culture to be more loving and compassionate.” - ANDIE MACDOWELL

Deep in his thoughts and enjoying the peaceful surroundings, Tom, a gay teenager, is jolted out of his quaint and meditative park retreat by painful and homophobic words from his classmate.
A few benches over, sits Charles, a man in his late forties, who witnesses the bullying. After the bullies leave, and to Tom’s surprise, Charles appears right next to him. The two strike up a conversation that quickly turns serious when Tom asks if Charles has ever thought about suicide. In this magical story about the interdependence of imagination and survival, and their lifechanging connection, the boundaries between stranger/friend and survival/suicide are challenged when Charles takes Tom on a fantastical journey into Tom’s imagination that will forever alter the course of Tom’s future and life.

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Written & Directed by FLORIAN HALBEDL
Produced by JOSHUA M. FERGUSON

Florian Halbedl – Born and raised in Switzerland, Halbedl received his BA in Film Studies at Western University and began his professional career in Vancouver, Canada, as part of the assistant director teams, on the ABC hit show Once Upon a Time, Gareth Edward’s Godzilla (2014), Duncan Jones' Warcraft (2016) and most recently Patricia Rozema's Into the Forest (2015). Halbedl, as part of Turbid Lake Pictures, is currently writing Mosaics, a contemporary science fiction feature film about animal-human hybrids.

Joshua M. Ferguson - was born in Brantford, Ontario, Canada in 1982. They experienced serious bullying, discrimination and bigotry at a young age in a small town almost devoid of tolerance and acceptance. Ferguson completed their B.A. Honors in Film Studies at the University of Western Ontario in 2009 and received their M.A. in Film Studies from the University of British Columbia in 2010. Ferguson is a current Ph.D. Candidate in the Institute of Gender, Race, Sexuality and Social Justice at the University of British Columbia. They are currently producing a feature-length documentary about non-binary transgender people.

“Whispers of Life is a beautiful and touching short film. It is very timely in our environment and will help educate and touch human emotions in a way that can shift our culture to be more loving and compassionate.” - ANDIE MACDOWELL

“An effective, imaginative and visually rich fable about teen suicide -- one that will find an appreciative audience with youth audiences.” - JOHN GREYSON

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