Emily Berntson is a fourth year film student at the University of Regina. This spring she will graduate with her BFA in Media Production and Studies. Emily grew up in Saskatoon and is very attached to this province and its people. She’s the president of the Regina Film and Video Student’s Society and enjoys working with her peers to create fun events for other film students. This year she was part of the committee that organized the Living Skies Student Film Festival, which was for student work from across the country.
“There is a lot about the industry that I like, so I’m still not sure what I will end up doing. However, I always like to be a part of an artistic community. I have been able to work with my peers both in and outside of school.”
This year Emily has been lucky enough to add working with industry professionals as a part of her experience. She did a work term at the Saskatchewan Film Pool in the puppet works studio and was mentored by Chrystene Ells. She was able to go to the “Women in the Director’s Chair” workshop in Banff, which brought together filmmakers, both industry veterans and novices, in a unique two week workshop.
Part of Emily’s passion for self-expression may have been learned from her parents. Her dad, Ron Berntson, established the Media School program for Saskatoon Public Schools. Her mom, Phoebe Voigts, is the artistic director and founder of the Saskatoon Children’s Choir. “I grew up in a home filled with books, film and music. It was just assumed that I’d value the same things. I may be the only student in history whose parents pressured me into film school.”
“This year I was a part of the committee that organized the final screening for our fourth year films. Recently we showed our pieces to the community and had a great event. The best part was seeing the mix of industry professionals, professors and students in the audience. Together we are adding to a community that joins the film makers of tomorrow with the film makers of today. With the changes to funding in our province, many people in this community may have to move on from Saskatchewan. It is sad to me to imagine this community, which I am just beginning to be a part of, disappearing.”