My Younger Older Sister

A young woman enters a crisis on the eve of her 19th birthday as she realizes she’s about to out-age her older sister who died at 18.

Creative team

Writer/director/producer: Leah Johnston
Producer: Jess Brown

Filmmaker’s statement

This is a female-driven Nova Scotian short film which I made acting opposite my real-life sister, Katherine.

Inspired by true events, My Younger Older Sister chronicles the crisis of a young woman as she realizes she is about to out-age her older sister who died at 18. Having witnessed this strange phenomena in my own life, I realized it was an unusual crisis which many people go through in the wake of a sibling or parent death – one which I had not seen shown in film before.

My Younger Older Sister explores this conflict through the character of Rose who has spent her life living in the shadow of her dead sister, Kayla. Now, with her 19th birthday looming, Rose must make a decision whether to continue following in her sister’s footsteps or carve a new path of her own.

About Leah Johnston

Leah Johnston has written and directed four award-winning short films that have played at over 40 festivals worldwide and been broadcast on Air Canada flights and CBC television.

Her most recent, Ingrid & The Black Hole, was the recipient of the $35K WIFT/BravoFACT pitch prize. It premiered in the Cannes Not Short on Talent program and won best Canadian short at both Edmonton International and Silver Wave Film Festivals, sweeping the awards at Vancouver Island Short Film Festival (best picture, best editing, best screenplay, best technical achievement).

Some Things Won’t Sleep received the 2013 National Screen Institute Drama Prize and racked up prizes across the country for direction, design and performance, including the Corus Fearless Female Filmmaker award.

My Younger Older Sister, which she also stars in, earned Leah a nomination for both her performance (ACTRA Maritimes awards) and her filmmaking (best short, Silver Wave Film Festival; Remi winner, Worldfest Houston) and was broadcast on CBC.

Leah divides her time between Halifax and Toronto, where she is represented for television directing by Greenlight Management. She was recently one of six directors across Canada selected by the Academy of Canadian Cinema to participate in its inaugural female directing mentorship program.

She is currently shadowing director David Wellington on the series Mary Kills People while developing her first feature film, Creature He.

She holds a BFA in drama from New York University and is a graduate of the National Screen Institute Drama Prize program and the Reykjavik Talent Lab.

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