Dear Anna Olson

: Fiction
GENRE: Drama
STATUS: Production


Dear Anna Olson is a parable of how small, positive actions can have a profound impact on a person’s life.


Anna Olson is resident of a nursing home.  Lonely, she sends out notes tied to balloons.  One of these are found and passed from person to person, inspiring each of them to share their own stories.  When the note returns to Anna her world is positively changed by their kind words and stories.



The idea for Dear Anna Olson literally dropped from the sky as Dean Lennert noticed something caught up in the branches of a tree near his home.  It was a balloon and to it was tied a note that simply read, "Hello, my name is Anna Olson.  I am a resident of the Thrushbrook Nursing Home.  Please write to me".  He did write to her, and was also captivated by the imaginings of this woman's life and her little note's impressive journey.  As a career animator and filmmaker, Dean felt that this would be a perfect story to tell through the medium of animation.  Dear Anna Olson is a traditional hand-drawn animated work created using colored pencils, watercolors and inks on paper and frosted acetate.   This combination of materials provides a softer, storybook feel to an art form that is often characterized by solid hard-edged blocks of color.   When completed it will be a 20-minute narrative photographed on 35mm color film with sound.  The soundtrack will consist of a newly commissioned contemporary musical score and original sound effects.   There will be no dialogue or narration, which allows the story to cross language barriers, giving the film greater universal appeal.


Dean Kalman Lennert - Director/Animator

Dean Kalman Lennert is a Director/Animator over three decades of professional experience creating work for film and television using a wide range of styles and techniques. Career highlights include DOUG, BEAVIS & BUTTHEAD, SNL’s TV FUNHOUSE, the 1998 Academy Award winning animated short film BUNNY and the 2002 Oscar nominated ICE AGE.

Jennifer Kirby - Producer

Jennifer Kirby is a producer and fundraiser with over 23 years of experience developing projects. A chance discussion in 1991 led to her involvement with Dear Anna Olson. This film is close to her heart because of its message that compassionate actions have significant impact at any stage of life.

Cory Gabel - Composer

Cory Gabel is an award-winning composer and performer, creating original music for film, television, dance and theater. His music has been featured in popular films, stage productions and television campaigns for ESPN, The United Way and Comcast. He performs regularly as a solo pianist, vocalist/guitarist, jazz bassist and orchestral percussionist.


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109 Donors have supported this film


IFP Fiscal Sponsorship Program 2019
Mark and Yvonne Hulbert Charitable Gift Fund 2006/2010
The Enson-Bickord Foundation - Matching Gift Recipient 2009
NYU Tisch School of the Arts - Faculty Development Grant Recipient 2008
Greater Hartford Arts Council 2007
Connecticut Commission on Culture & Tourism - Artist Fellowship Grant 2007
Puffin Foundation - Production Grant Recipient 1994
BACA/Brooklyn Arts Council - Film Search, Start-up Grant 1990


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UPDATE - January 09, 2013

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