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Animators dedicate film to staff at VGH


Above photo (l to r): Dr. John Yee, Dr. Robert Levy, Alison Snowden, David Fine, Dr. Gord Finlayson, Dr. Hussein Kanji. 

Vancouver, BC – Academy award winning animators Alison Snowden and David Fine are headed to the world’s largest animation festival with a new film dedicated to the staff of Vancouver General Hospital (VGH). Animal Behaviour is a short animated film about five animals who attend a group therapy session led by a canine psychotherapist. 

As the film neared completion in 2017, Alison became gravely ill. David Fine spent weeks by his wife’s side at VGH as her lungs failed and her chance of survival diminished.  “To be introduced into the world of health care with such passionate, professional and generous people is almost spiritual,” says David. 

Alison’s health care journey began with a persistent infection and ended with a new set of lungs. “I was fighting for my life, and everything—including the film—was on hold. VGH became a huge part of our lives, and the people there took such good care of me,” says Alison. 

“The thought that Alison wouldn’t be with me was horrifying, so to complete the film with her and screen it for staff at Vancouver General Hospital on May 9th was emotional because we were meant to finish it together,” says David Fine.

“It’s incredibly satisfying to have these wonderful people dedicate this work of art to the Vancouver Coastal Health community,” says Dr. Robert Levy, who along with Dr. John Yee, formed part of Alison’s transplant team at VGH. 

“Alison’s extraordinary journey through her critical illness and salvage lung transplant was heroic,” says Dr. Gord Finlayson, Alison’s intensive care physician.  “Her outcome reflects a commitment of care from remarkable teams of nurses, physicians, surgeons, physiotherapists, respiratory therapists, nutritionists, pharmacists, perfusionists, social workers and care aides.” Dr. Finlayson says he’s grateful to Alison and David for the dedication of their film, “but witnessing Alison’s remarkable recovery and return to life has been the greatest reward.” 

Alison and David will travel to the Annecy International Film Festival in Annecy, France June 10th. To speak to them about their film, please contact Vancouver Coastal Health. 

View the trailer of Animal Behaviour:
Snowden Fine Animation website:
Media Kit: (Please courtesy NFB)

Vancouver Coastal Health is responsible for the delivery of $3.3 billion in community, hospital and residential care to more than one million people in communities including Richmond, Vancouver, the North Shore, Sunshine Coast, Sea to Sky corridor, Powell River, Bella Bella and Bella Coola. VCH also provides highly specialized care and services for people throughout BC, and is the province’s hub of health care education and research.


Carrie Stefanson
Public Affairs Leader
Vancouver Coastal Health
Office: (604) 708-5340
Cell: (604) 312-1148

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