Short Film

"Reach the Sky"
a QSO short film

Reach the Sky, a QSO produced animated short film inspired in equal part by iconic Canadian songwriter Rita MacNeil, and Toronto crochet artist Chason Yeboah’s KnotNaked Dolls. Reach the Sky was directed by Daniel Sterlin-Altman alongside a brilliant team of animators and designers, and set to a Thom Gill arrangement of Rita MacNeil’s We’ll Reach the Sky Tonight. The film follows three friends on a road trip who are separated by an unexpected fork in the road. Through their individual journeys the three encounter and reckon with queer love, lineage, and shame, and when they reunite each has brought with them a new companion who helped them along the way.

Set for online release in 2019, Reach the Sky has been an official selection at the following film and animation festivals:

  • 2018 Barcelona Stop Motion Fim Festival, Spain

  • 2018 TAIS Animation Showcase, Canada

  • 2018 The Austin all Gender, Lifestyles, Identities, Film Fest (AGLIFF), USA

  • 2018 Linoleum Animation Festival, Ukraine

  • 2018 Ottawa International Animation Festival, Canada

  • 2018 Krok International Animation Festival, Russia

  • 2018 Encounters Film Festival, United Kingdom

  • 2018 Montreal Stop Motion Festival, Canada

  • 2018 Holebikort Short Film Festival, Belgium

  • 2018 Tacoma Film Fest, USA

  • 2018 New Chitose Airport International Animation Festival, Japan

  • 2018 TWIST: Seattle Queer Film Festival, USA

  • 2018 LesGaisCineMad LGBT Film Festival, Spain

  • 2018 NEWFEST, New York LGBTQ Film Festival, USA

  • 2018 Austin Music Video Festival, USA

  • 2018 Sardinia Queer Short Film Festival, Italy

  • 2018 Image + Nation LGBTQ Festival, Canada

  • 2018 CutOut Animation Festival, Mexico


Producer: Shaun Brodie
Creators: Daniel Sterlin-Altman, Stephen Jackman-Torkoff, Shaun Brodie
Puppets: Chason Yeboah
Director: Daniel Sterlin-Altman
Director of Photography: Evan DeRushie
Set Designer: Sage Szkabernicki-Stuart
Animators: Evan DeRushie, Daniel Sterlin-Altman, Martha Grant
Arrangement and vocals: Thom Gill
Performed by: Queer Songbook Orchestra
With production and studio support from TAIS (Toronto Animated Image Society)

We'll Reach the Sky Tonight
Written by Rita MacNeil
Big Pond Publishing & Productions (SOCAN)/Canadiana Music (SOCAN)

World premiere of Reach the Sky, at Buddies in Bad Times Theatre, June, 2018. Photos by Tanja Tiziana.