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OFFICIAL SELECTION - Portland Film Festival - 2021 (1).png
OFFICIAL SELECTION - Amsterdam Short Film Festival - 2021 (1).png
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OFFICIAL SELECTION - Prague International Indie Film Festival - 2021.png
OFFICIAL SELECTION - Toronto International Women Film Festival - 2021 (1).png
OFFICIAL SELECTION - Montreal Independent Film Festival - 2021 (1).png
OFFICIAL SELECTION - Berlin International Art Film Festival - 2021 (1).png
Shiny Objects - The Conductor with ADHD. This short documentary tells the story of an exceptional symphony conductor recently diagnosed with ADHD who uses the career shutdown of the 2020 pandemic to explore her mental health and finds new ways to navigate the challenges and marvel at the surprising gifts of the condition.
a letter from Gillie
This project was funded by Telus Storyhive, an initiative that supports filmmakers in Alberta and British Columbia, Canada. In 2020 we won a grant for 23K to make a documentary on a local hero, Rosemary Thomson. Storyhive supported all stages of the film, from development through to distribution, and for us at Silver Twig it was a really fantastic way to learn how to make our first film!  Also, through their partnership with The National Screen Institute, we had industry experts team up with us to guide and help the whole way through (special thank you to Linda Coffey for her support with our project). 

For me, the most important part of making this film (and having fun doing it!) came through building the right team. Silver Twig is a new production company and this was my first time directing and producing, so I had a steep learning curve ahead. I chose the team based on their incredible talent, experience, and awesome personalities (so basically, people who were way better than me :) Jan Vozenilek was our cinematographer and has made many beautiful, impactful documentaries and we were very lucky to get to work with and learn from him. Jamie Cottington basically took care of everything else while filming, including sound and second camera, as we were limited to a very tiny crew because of COVID. Marion Barschel came out of retirement from decades in radio production at CBC and dove in with her vast skill set as a producer and all around brilliant and hilarious woman. Emily Hubbard is a marketing genius who's been thinking about becoming a film producer one day as well, so (while still running her other career) she jumped in and learned  along side me, taking care of everything happening off set and in our office (and was even kind enough to drop off food and drinks from a safe distance while we filmed). The other two heavy hitters are David Nault, who spent endless hours working with me to create the best edit possible of the film and added some cool, creative ideas to the flow of the film as well. And finally, David Parfit, who is pretty much a genius in all respects, but especially so with sound. His efforts on the original score brought the film to a whole new level and he was able to translate through music all things left unsaid. Although commissioning the score was outside our Storyhive budget, we were able to privately fund it and I would do it again in a heartbeat. Given that this film is about a woman who embodies music and shares her gifts with the world through that medium, to honour her story with the perfect soundtrack became the top priority in post.

If you're interested in learning more you can read about some of the story behind the film in our blog page and there will be a Behind the Scenes short film released as well (first on Optik TV and then globally online in 2022). 
Another important factor in making this film and our projects going forward is the subject of sustainability. Because this was a documentary (no sets or costumes or things to build or create) and we were limited to a tiny crew because of COVID, the aspect of environmental impact was naturally extremely low for this film. We did, however, work with the guidance and tools provided on to start to learn to navigate that terrain for future films. Because sustainability is about much more than carbon footprint, for this project we also really looked at our impact in the context of community and social sustainability. More on that coming up in the blog. 
I'd like to give a special acknowledgement and thanks to Rosemary Thomson and the other interviewees featured in the film (some listed below). They are the advocates and storytellers who were willing and able to be open, honest, authentic and offer a connection to anyone who watches the film. It is our gift as filmmakers to be invited to bear witness to such incredible humans. 
We are also extremely grateful for the complexity of the human mind, for the neurodiverse people in the world (including Rosemary, Dan Duncan, William McKenzie and a number of others who are also connected to this film) and for the people who support and seek to understand conditions like ADHD. As a filmmaker who also has ADHD, I am proud to be part of such an incredible community. If you're interested in continuing the discussion about ADHD and other neurodiversities, please check out our FB page and engage with us there. We also have some resources listed below as well as links to some of the incredible people and organizations featured in the film.
with love,

Watch Shiny objects


The film is currently in the festival circuit, then will become available worldwide in the summer of 2022





Centre for ADD/ADHD Awareness Canada

CADDAC is a Canadian national charitable organization dedicated to improving the lives of those with ADHD through ADHD awareness, education, and advocacy.


Irene Spelliscy


Irene Spelliscy is a Registered Psychologist in the provinces of Alberta and British Columbia. She is committed to providing a compassionate, caring and collaborative therapeutic environment to individuals, youth and families struggling with a variety of psychological issues and/or personal challenges.


Dan Duncan

Coaching reaches beyond treating the symptoms and explaining the facts about ADHD. It reaches into the very motivations and aspirations of the individual, empowering them to turn their dreams and plans into actions.




We are the Okanagan Symphony Orchestra, the third-largest professional orchestra in BC. We have had the privilege to share live music experiences with residents and visitors to the Okanagan for over 60 years. 

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Opera Kelowna

A vibrant, innovative opera company that celebrates artistic imagination, reflects relevance for our time, and connect with our our community.

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