Art, film in Emerging Talent Fest

Travis Anderson
Travis Anderson's The Coming Storm was last year's People Choice Award winner of Emerging Talent XVI.
— image credit: TRAVIS ANDERSON

For dozens of Tri-City art students, Sunday will be the first time they'll showcase their skills in a public setting.

It's a concept some view with trepidation but, for others, they welcome the opportunity to build their portfolios as they prepare for post-secondary institutions.

Take Jensen Tung, for example. He's a Heritage Woods secondary student in Port Moody who had three of his short films accepted into the third annual Emerging Talent Festival, which runs Sunday afternoon at Coquitlam's Evergreen Cultural Centre (1205 Pinetree Way).

Tung directed, wrote and edited all three, acted in two (Catch The Girl and Iron Fist: The Arrival) and, during the production of From Me To You, he took on the role as camera operator as well.

"Having my films shown at the Evergreen Emerging Talent Festival is very important to me as it is a great opportunity for my work to be noticed by the public," Tung told The Tri-City News. "Film is meant to be shown and enjoyed by an audience so this festival is a great way to do just that."

For the curated film event, judges Fred Ewanuik (Corner Gas, Dan For Mayor), Matthew Clarke (Convos With My 2-Year-Old) and Matthew Kowalchuk (Lawrence & Holloman) will be audience and will award prizes for best film, director, editor, cinematographer, performer and screen playwright.

As well, the crowd will get a chance to pick their favourite of the 11 shorts screened in the studio theatre.

Still, it won't just be film under the limelight at Emerging Talent.

The fest will also serve as the official opening for Emerging Talent 17, a Grade 12 art exhibit juried by retired art teachers Jerry Pietrasko, Eunice Hodge and Keith Levang plus Tri-City artist Mandara Lebovitz. The show runs until Feb. 27 and patrons can vote on the People's Choice Award (the winner will be announced in early March).

Dr. Charles Best secondary's Harper Eskuri, 18, has two pieces on the gallery walls: My Younger Brother (watercolour) and My Beating Heart (acrylic).

The former is a painting of her 15-year-old brother when he was a baby. "I wanted to show how similar the two versions of him are — yet how much one can change from a baby to adulthood," said Eskuri, who has been creating since childhood. "In painting the portrait, I saw details of his face that had carried on to adolescence that I had not noticed before, such as the curves of his nose or the shape of his chin."

By contrast, Stephanie Nguyen — an 18-year-old student at Gleneagle secondary — only took up the paint brush last summer. Nguyen has three works on display for Emerging Talent 17: Louder Than Words (a triptych acrylic on canvas that was featured on The News' Things To Do page last Friday); Nature or Nurture? (a ceramic bust); and What Happened to the Roses? (a mixed media sculpture).

Nguyen attributes her growth as an artist to her Gleneagle teachers, Mike McElgunn and Melanie Stokes, and to Don Portelance, a retired Centennial art teacher who now instructs gifted students at Place des Arts.

Besides visual art and film, attendees of the Emerging Talent Festival will also hear songs from Port Moody secondary's Julia Montgomery and Tati Adry, a musical duo.





Sunday's line-up:

• 2 pm: Emerging Talent 17 opening reception begins

• 3:30 pm: Emerging Talent 17 opening remarks

• 4:30 pm: Emerging Talent Film Festival








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