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Curious characters, bizarre artists and a speed demon all subjects of new short doc show

Creator Network Presents

Airs Saturday, July 22, 2023
8 p.m. on CBC Manitoba

Stream free on CBC Gem now.

Decomposing roadkill, mouldering fruit and rotting vegetables.

Where others see “ick,” Joel Penner sees art.

“I think the universe is fascinating and beautiful. I think art helps you get at that visceral sense of beauty and sense of wonder,” Penner said.

A man at a counter chops vegetables in a kitchen.
Time-lapse decay filmmaker Joel Penner prepares produce in his West End Winnipeg kitchen. Penner leans into the gross to find the magic on film. Filmmakers Tyler Funk and Carmen Ponto caught Penner’s process and discovered the thinking behind his art in their short film. (Tyler Funk)

The Winnipeg artist and his unusual and beautiful art are featured in Creator Network Presents, a new hour-long show featuring nine short documentaries by filmmakers in Manitoba and Saskatchewan.

The story of Penner’s time-lapse art was filmed by Carmen Ponto and Tyler Funk of Winnipeg. The pair are among more than a dozen filmmakers whose work is featured in the show. 

A woman with a large grin stands at a microphone in front of a red curtain.
Sherry Mckay is an Indigenous content creator from Sagkeeng First Nation. (Kevin Nepitabo/CBC)

The hour-long show is hosted by comedian and writer Sherry McKay, who co-produced one of the short docs. Trash Can Picasso follows McKay’s uncle Troy Fontaine as he creates costumes from reclaimed materials and garbage.

A smiling man wears an alien costume.
Winnipeg-based artist Troy Fontaine makes elaborate movie costumes from garbage and recycled materials. This trash can Picasso thinks outside the box but inside the dumpster to make his creations. A short film follows his whirlwind of creativity. (Photo submitted by Sherry Larocque)

Other shorts in the hour-long show include the story of Destiny Klym, a young race car driver in Saskatchewan who revels in the speed and thrill of competing in NASCAR-regulated events. Saskatchewan filmmaker Aaron Sinclair produced the film, Destiny Takes the Lead.

A young woman stands in front of a racecar with her arms crossed as she stares into the camera.
Destiny Klym is an IMCA modified dirt oval racetrack driver from Saskatchewan. (Aaron Sinclair)

Another short, called Bakla, follows photographer Ally Gonzalo on his quest to create a community for queer Filipinos.

The seven-minute film, led by filmmaker JIm Agapito, explores the challenges faced by queer Filipinos in coming out to their often strongly Catholic families. It’s also an uplifting story about creating your own family and community of support. 

A compilation of images shows Bakla people in a circle, looking down.
Ally Gonzalo brought a group of Bakla together to photograph a personal portrait of each of them and talk about their personal experiences of being gender fluid, gay, femme, and also Filipino. Winnipeg filmmaker Jim Agapito captured the emotional moments in his short film Bakla. (Ally Gonzalo)

The work of filmmakers Sidney Phommarath, Quan Luong, Haley Charney, Craig Guiboche, David Zellis, Ryan Nash, Paul Stabell, Matt Purchase and Aleksandra Osipova is also featured in the show. 

Creator Network Presents premieres at 8 p.m. CT on Saturday, July 22, on CBC Manitoba as part of the Absolutely Canadian documentary series.

Stream free on CBC Gem now!

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