Whisper From The Water

Whisper From The Water is a coming of an age story about friendship and sexuality. The film follows John as he takes on a rebellious adventure to a locked pool for a night of surprises, where he realizes an unspoken feeling toward his best friend, Max.

  • Xu Tan (John)
  • Xu Tan (John)
  • Gloria Aristocrat
  • Johnathon Miller
    Key Cast
  • Sam Wexler
    Key Cast
  • Kimm Dizdari
    Key Cast
  • Alisha Wong
    Key Cast
    "Ashely "
  • Mladjen Radulovic
  • Cairns Nolan
  • Cairns Nolan
    Grip / AC
  • Will Sheppard
    Grip / AC
  • Chris Atkins
    Grip / AC
  • Johnny Chau
  • Desiree Falcao
    1st AD
  • Antonia Sinn
    Production Designer
  • Angela Savinon
    Art Director
  • Yigeng Huang
  • Yifeng Huang
  • Shuqi Yang
  • Youssef Mutawe
  • Project Type:
    Short, Student
  • Genres:
  • Runtime:
    11 minutes 16 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    May 25, 2021
  • Production Budget:
    3,300 USD
  • Country of Origin:
  • Country of Filming:
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
    Yes - York University
Director Biography - Xu Tan (John)

“Through stories we tell, we find our place in the world. Up until today, films have helped me to cope with a lot of my challenges and vulnerabilities in life. They helped me find my identity, sexuality and community. Like how films have impacted my life, I wants to tell more stories through film that make others feel less alone”.

I am a young aspiring director/ producer who grew up in China and moved to Toronto at the age of 19 to attend film school at York University. In 2020, my short film 'Hikaru' has won the First Prize in the Huawei Next-G Video Competition. Upon graduation, I directed the short film 'Whisper Under Water' and produced 'In Other News,' all currently running for festivals.

I plans to stay in Toronto to build up my career and network. I’m always happy to meet more like-minded people to make more films together, ideally stories that represent BIPOC and LGBTQ+ communities. My primary career goal for now is to produce and direct a feature film.

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

I wrote and directed this story based on my personal experience of when I realized my sexuality.

The idea started with me wanting to make a queer film that is not necessarily about the struggle of being in the closet nor the difficulty of coming out, rather a story that normalizes queerness. So I decided to make a story about realizing one's love and desire, which is universal for all gender and sexuality instead of something specific for the queer community. I hope this little story captures the moment of realization and the unspoken feelings crawling in our hearts when we see someone we love. I hope it delivers a message that sometimes loves is obscure and out of our control. The struggle of not knowing if the person we like would like us back in normal to everyone and queer love is no different from any form of love.