4 North A

Howie Shia & Jordan Canning | 10:53 | 2020 | Canada | Narrative


A woman sits in a hospital room, alone with her dying father. As the din of hospital noises pushes her to confront her inevitable loss, she escapes into a series of lush childhood memories. 4 North A is a celebration of the fleeting joys of life and a bittersweet reminder that we don’t always get the closure we seek.

Howie Shia

Howie Shia

Howie Shia is a Toronto-based illustrator, animator, writer and director. His short films have won several awards internationally, including the 2007 Grand Prix at the Tokyo Anime Fair. Much of his work combines a love of ancient mythologies and a fascination with modern urban environments. Creating contemporary visuals using mostly traditional drawing techniques, Shia also draws heavily on music, especially contemporary jazz and hip hop.

Along with his brothers, Shia is the co-founder of PPF House, a Toronto-Taipei music, animation and design studio that creates both independent and commercial work for the likes of the National Film Board of Canada, Disney, Nike, UN-Habitat and others.

His latest film, 4 North A, is a collaboration with filmmaker Jordan Canning. 4 North A is Shia’s fifth animated short with the NFB, following BAM (2015), Peggy Baker: Four Phrases (2009), Flutter (2006) and Ice Ages (2004).

Jordan Canning

Jordan Canning

A graduate of the Directors’ Lab at the Canadian Film Centre, Jordan Canning has made more than a dozen short films (including Countdown, Not Over Easy, Seconds) that have screened at numerous festivals, including the Tribeca Film Festival, the Toronto International Film Festival and Interfilm Berlin.

Canning has also directed two feature films—We Were Wolves (TIFF 2014) and Suck it Up (Best Feature Film at the 2017 B3 Biennale in Frankfurt)—and co-directed the omnibus film Ordinary Days (Best Director at the 2018 Canadian Film Fest).

In addition, she’s directed many episodes of various television series, including This Hour Has 22 Minutes, Baroness Von Sketch Show and the Emmy-nominated Schitt’s Creek. In 2019, she and her co-director took home the Canadian Screen Award for Best Direction, Variety or Sketch Comedy for their work on season three of Baroness Von Sketch Show.

Her most recent project, the animated short 4 North A, was co-directed with Howie Shia and produced by the National Film Board of Canada.