Moving Image Art Festival fills a void at Kwantlen

By Chris Yee
[senior culture writer]

Clay. Collages. Feet.

These are a few of the mediums that student animators and filmmakers, both at Kwantlen and from the community, used in the diverse body of work that will be shown off at the newly-launched Moving Image Art Festival this April.

Organized by Kwantlen student Shelly Leroux, Moving Image will feature very short films and video art pieces of a decidedly experimental bent, with most no more than a minute in length (the longest piece clocks in at a mere three minutes.)

(Illustration submitted by Shelley Leroux)

Leroux, who is currently a fourth-year Fine Arts student but started at Kwantlen 10 years ago in the Fine Arts diploma program, got the idea for the festival while taking a community art practices course this semester.

“A lot of my background… [is] in doing art shows, so I decided to do a film festival. I thought it was a little bit different, [I was] able to expand my experiences in doing a festival of this sort,” Leroux said.

The Moving Image Art Festival fills a void left by changes that transpired after the launch of the Bachelor of Fine Arts, Visual Arts program in 2010.

The Fine Arts end of year show, an event for all Fine Arts students at Kwantlen in previous years, is now instead a grad show for this year’s first batch of BFA graduates.

“The upside to this is that the grads are being exposed and having an exclusive show before they leave Kwantlen. The downside to this is that all [the] other Fine Arts students do not have a venue this year,” Leroux said.

That is, if it were not for the Moving Image Art Festival, which will provide that venue this year, at least for Kwantlen’s digital media students.

“It is always nice to have exposure for the work that people do, and so I think students that work in digital media will enjoy showing their work to other students and to the public.”

But Leroux, who works part-time for the Burnaby school district, also plans to bring high school students into the festival’s fold.

“I thought it was great… to involve lots of people from outside of Kwantlen as well, and youth seemed more accessible and less exposed, and they’re the next generation that will be coming to Kwantlen. I thought it was a really good opportunity for them to be within the environment, to have their work shown –– and also a really good opportunity for Kwantlen students to learn from youth and see what matters from youth,” Leroux said.

As for the future of the Moving Image Festival, and the Fine Arts program as a whole, Leroux hopes that other Kwantlen students will take up the mantle in coming years –– and more importantly, the university as well.

“Now that Kwantlen has the BFA, I would hope that the University would put more funding efforts towards the equipment needed to help students succeed as well as the facilities,” Leroux said.

For the time being, though, this April’s instalment of the Moving Image Festival already has support from a number of sponsors. Envision Financial, Opus Art Supplies, the Kwantlen Bookstore, Starbucks, Tim Hortons and the Langley Colossus theatre are on board to provide popcorn and prizes (including gift certificates and free movie tickets), with more expected to come on board in the coming weeks.

The Moving Image Festival will run from 6 – 8 p.m. on April 20 in Fir 128 at the Surrey campus. Submissions are free, open to all Kwantlen students, and will be accepted until April 4.

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