My Fantasies Keep me up at Nite

Celina de Leon

See it On Campus: Level 1

Visitor Info

My film can be watched in the Emily Carr little theater (room D1375) from May 10-22


Duration: 4:56min

Medium: Live Action and 2D Animation



A young woman and her friend are led to a metamorphic realization when they ponder the nature of dreams.

Artist Statement

I create experimental films that explore themes of youth, fantasy, and embodiment. These themes are often sprouted from melancholic emotions; like the heavy nostalgia produced from growing older, or the feeling of cultural detachment. I employ techniques of visual absurdities to offset these themes in an irreverent and stimulating way. My practice involves an abundance of digital compositing, 2D animation, and analogue film manipulations. Although I use a variety of different filmmaking styles, playfulness is a constant in my work.

Project Stills

Behind The Story

The film is based on the Chinese Philosopher Zhuangzi’s story, “Butterfly Dream”. The story explains that when Zhuangzi was sleeping, he dreamt he was a butterfly and when he awoke, he thought of the possibility that he was a butterfly dreaming he was a man. I was very interested by this metaphysical relationship between dreams and reality and wanted to incorporate it into my film. The animation and live action hybrid aspect of My Fantasies… strengthens the theme of what is real versus imagined. Although there’s a clear dichotomy between dreams and reality in our everyday lives, my film explores a mesh between the two, considering the possibility that both worlds are just as authentic.

My film draws aesthetic inspiration from my two favorite films: Věra Chytilová’s 1966 film Daisies and the 1977 film House by Nobuhiko Obayashi. Both of these films use experimental techniques that remind the viewer they are watching a constructed piece of media. This emphasizes the craft of filmmaking, another large theme of my film, but usually hidden in mainstream cinema. 


Director Celina de Leon

Starring Shoji-kko Blunderfield and Taylor Shaw

Music Dylan Spence

Sound Design Sam Street

1st AD Lauren Olson

Camera Operator YueMing Hong

Camera Assists Warren Tang and Sidney Gordon

Assistant Animation Emma Swain

Colorist Nina Wolf

Special Thanks to Lindsay McIntyre, Harry Killas, Chris Strickler, Media Resources, 2022 FMSA Cohort, Hallie Fraser-Low, and Kyla Johst

Behind the scenes photography Sidney Gordon, Taylor Shaw, and Jessie Luo

Poster Hallie Fraser-Low

Celina de Leon

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Celina de Leon is a Filipina-American experimental filmmaker with a Bachelor’s of Media Art from Emily Carr University of Art + Design. Her analogue practice explores the materiality and spontaneity of 16mm film while her digital work explores satirical and absurd narratives. As a live-action and animation hybrid filmmaker, she observes how different mediums mesh together to create nonsensical worlds. Her film JOHNNY BUCK’S FLYIN’ FAIRY DUST won best comedy at the Powell River Film Festival (PRFF) Youth Festival in 2021 and her works have been exhibited in California and B.C.

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