Mustard Seed

The story of a senseless murder, and how one can never truly escape the nightmare of one’s past.

Creative team

Writer/director: Lina Roessler
Producer: Ravens Call Inc.

Filmmaker’s statement

Mustard Seed is my third short film, and the third in a series titled Little Whispers, which examines the unique ability children have in using their imagination to solve their problems.

Ever since I can remember, I’ve been described as being a sensitive type. When I was a kid, I was constantly being told to “stop being so serious.”

Looking back, I realize this description was far more accurate than I ever gave credit. I was indeed a very serious, very sensitive kid. I was serious about what I could dream up in my head. I would spend hours hanging upside down from my bed trying to map a way out of my room just in case the world would turn upside down and I had to navigate it. The best games I played with my sisters involved intricate imaginary worlds, special quests, escape plans and impossible foes only the bravest could defeat.

The thing is, I was a lucky kid. The brushes with death, the evil wizards, the monsters and kidnappers and quicksand and erupting volcanoes and sharks I created would magically disappear when we were called for dinner.

Not all children have that luxury. The nightmares they live in are real, and what they escape to when they imagine otherwise is all they’ve got. Sometimes, they can’t escape their past. The child remains trapped within the adult, locked in a tragic moment in time.

Mustard Seed is an expression of this childhood prison of trauma, where there is no key to set one free.

About Lina Roessler

Lina Roessler

Lina Roessler studied English and creative writing at Concordia University, received a performance degree from the American Academy of Dramatic Art in New York, and recently completed an MFA in film production at York University.

Acting credits include a recurring role on Lost Girl, as well as numerous guest stars on series such as Private Eyes, Murdoch MysteriesMotiveSupernatural and Killjoys.

Her directorial debut, Little Whispers: The Vow (2015), has screened at dozens of festivals, including TIFF Kids, and also won first prize, best children’s short at Rhode Island International Film Festival.

Winter (2016), the second film in the Little Whispers series, won the A&E Short Filmmakers Award in the NSI Online Short Film Festival, received its Canadian premiere at 2016 TIFF Kids, and was selected to screen at Cannes as part of Telefilm Canada’s Not Short on Talent program.

Mustard Seed (2017), the third short in her series, recently won first prize, Heart, Minds and Soul Award at its world premiere in Rhode Island, and was named one of Canada’s TIFF Top Ten films of 2017. Mustard Seed also won a Golden Sheaf Award for best student film at Yorkton International Film Festival.

Lina was a member of the 2017 competitive TIFF Talent Lab, and was selected to attend the Berlinale Talents Campus and Short Script Station with her fourth short film project in February 2018.

Her feature script, The Rescuer, is in development and recently placed in the top 10 at the Canadian Film Festival Script Competition and at the Vancouver Women in Film Screenplay Competition.

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