Mystery of the Secret Room takes viewers on a spellbinding voyage between the real and the imaginary. An inspiring portrait of family, adversity, and resilience, this richly hued animated short tells the tale of 10-year-old Grace, who uses her creative superpowers to navigate the emotional landscape of her mother’s depression.
Writer/filmmaker Wanda Nolan collaborated with animator Claire Blanchet to weave together a deeply moving story. Hand-drawn animations bring two distinct worlds to life: the muted, solid world of “reality” and the saturated palette of Grace’s imagination. Images of nature (forests, water, animals) abound, serving to allegorize the obstacles faced by people dealing with mental illness and the loved ones who stand by their side.
Through a mixture of techniques and media, including drawn backgrounds, landscape photography, and ink and pastel on paper, Mystery of the Secret Room offers a textured story-world full of surprises, challenges, and emotions, while celebrating the transformative powers of literature and the imagination.
Written and directed by
Art director and animation supervisor
Hyun Jin Park
Original music by
Sound design by
Foley and music recording
Technical animation coordinator
Jean Paul Vialard
Senior production coordinator
The Nolan Family
Grace, Tyler, Emma
The Blanchet Family
Lynne, Nicole, Paul
Michelle van Beusekom
Producer and executive producer