Creature Comforts: Shorts Program (Doxa 2017)

Jennifer Hammersmark
Mind Your Madness
Published in
2 min readMay 18, 2017


I must admit, shorts are not typically my favourites or my choices of films to see. I usually find that there is not enough depth for me within each in the time frame allotted. I was pleasantly surprised with this grouping! See how people are inspired in each by living creatures in need of assistance.


The first short was a humorous, silly story about trying to uncover the history behind a marina that opened in Anglesey, UK (back in the 80s, I believe). Follow the narrator as he contacts numerous individuals who have surnames that are also fish in his investigation into this mystery.


After watching this film, I will be loathe to ever step on a snail again that I only previously viewed as a nuisance in my garden!

Marla Coppolino is a biologist, artist and snail advocate. Yup, you heard me right — a snail advocate. She took an interest in snails from a very young age, and as a matter of fact, still has a pet snail that she has been caring for for ten years.

I won’t spoil it for you, but it is a good watch and a reminder that all creatures — even ones that annoyingly eat your plants — are an important part of the food chain. Did you know that snails send calcium up the food chain, and that birds can’t lay eggs without calcium?! One of many interesting facts that may make you think twice before stepping on a snail again.


Another eye opener on a creature that I really hadn’t put a lot of thought into; a creature that has existed for over 200 million years!

This film focuses on a Turtle Conservation Centre in Peterborough, Ontario, where a very dedicated woman repairs turtles, most of which have been involved in automobile accidents.

The film discusses how vital turtles are to the environment and the biodiversity and scientific secrets that they hold. Very informative and heart warming.


Vancouver-based Filmmaker Elisa Chee

Elisa does a wonderful job in this film of using animation to tell the real life story of Lucy, a domesticated chimpanzee, and Janis Carter, a human, who made it her life’s work to assist Lucy in integrating back into her natural environment.

When Elisa was asked about her inspiration for this film, she said that she wanted to know “what makes someone [Janis Carter] dedicate ten years of her life to something else?”. Elisa Chee also wanted to bring awareness to animal rights and the impact that we humans have.

For more information about Lucy, visit



Jennifer Hammersmark
Mind Your Madness

Writer — Skier — Business Owner — Therapist