Private Project

Rocket Fuel

In the middle of a small town on a hot July day, three young kids clean up the morning after a party hosted by their distant parents. They collect a spattering of cans and bottles in an old wagon nicknamed “The Rocket”, and set off to cash in their empties for ice cream. Nora, the oldest at 12, tries to guide her siblings on the smartest path to victory when they discover their regular route is compromised.

  • Jessie Posthumus
  • Jessie Posthumus
  • Sarah Quan
  • Jeff Chiu
  • Abbey Jean Cowan
    Key Cast
  • Luxton Handspiker
    Key Cast
  • Antonina Battrick
    Key Cast
  • Project Type:
  • Genres:
    Narrative, Drama
  • Runtime:
    10 minutes 6 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    December 15, 2021
  • Production Budget:
    23,602 USD
  • Country of Origin:
  • Country of Filming:
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
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  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Palm Springs International Shortfest
    Palm Springs, California
    United States
    June 22, 2022
    World Premiere
    Official Selection
  • Vancouver International Film Festival
    Vancouver, BC
    October 22, 2022
    North American Premiere
    Official Selection
  • Montreal Festival du nouveau cinéma
    Montreal, QC
    October 7, 2022
    Quebec premiere
    Official Selection
  • RiverRun International Film Festival
    Winston-Salem, NC
    United States
    April 16, 2023
  • Pendance Film Festival
    Toronto, ON
    May 12, 2023
    Toronto Premeire
    Winner: Best Short Film
Director Biography - Jessie Posthumus

Jessie Posthumus is a Canadian writer, director, editor, and Toronto Metropolitan University graduate working in documentary and narrative film. Their films often fall within the realm of poetic realism, and are marked by their empathy and sense of humour. Some common themes in their work include coming-of-age experiences, mental health issues, and a search for personal identity. They are passionate about telling stories around the struggles of the working class and the human connection to nature. Jessie is also a commercial video editor with a specialization in branded documentary content - a job that allows them to practice digital forms of storytelling every day.

Their latest directing work includes the mini documentary series Bad at This (Hot Docs, Inside Out) now playing on Vice, and a short narrative film, Rocket Fuel (Palm Springs Shortfest, VIFF, Festival du Nouveau Cinema). They are currently developing their first feature film with support from the Canada Council for the Arts.

When they're not working, they can be found camping, reading, vlogging, and searching for spare change in their mattress.

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Director Statement

Growing up, my brothers and sisters were a crucial part of my filmmaking. We’d spend summers creating westerns in the alleyway beside our house, or horror movies in our treehouse. They were not only my best friends, but my greatest collaborators. The essence of filmmaking for me has always been linked to those summers, and with Rocket Fuel, I was finally able to tell a story that pulls back the layers of complicated sibling dynamics. Our film tells the story of three kids on one hot summer day who are entering different stages of their lives. It’s clear that their life isn’t easy - but as difficult as things may seem, they know they’ll make it through if they stick together. Even after all these years, I can thank my siblings for inspiring this film into existence.