Matsuri Star Power: Spotlight Nikkei
Nikkei film and TV stars are coming to Matsuri!
SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 1
1:30PM | EVENT HALL
Tamlyn Tomita (The Good Doctor, Joy Luck Club, Karate Kid 2), Kevan Ohtsji (Man in the High Castle, Godzilla, Mortal Kombat: Legacy), and Jennifer Spence (You Me Her, Stargate Universe, Travelers, The Bletchley Circle: San Francisco), will grace the Matsuri stage to share their experiences as Nikkei performers in film and theatre, connections with Nikkei community and culture, and what they’d like to see next for Nikkei in media and pop culture.
The Good Doctor, Teen Wolf, Joy Luck Club, Karate Kid 2
Tamlyn Tomita made her screen debut as ‘Kumiko’ in “The Karate Kid, Part II” and has since appeared in numerous feature films, television and theatre projects. She is known for her roles in “The Joy Luck Club”, “Picture Bride” and “Come See the Paradise”, a film exploring the lives of a Japanese-American family and the internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II.
On television, Tamlyn can currently be seen as ‘Allegra Aoki’ in “The Good Doctor”, as ‘Tamiko Watanabe’ in “The Man in the High Castle” and a series yet to be announced in the fall. She was a series regular on “Berlin Station”; “Law and Order: Los Angeles”; “The Burning Zone” and “Santa Barbara” and had recurring roles in “Teen Wolf”; “Glee”; “Chasing Life”; ”Resurrection”; “Eureka”; “Heroes”; “JAG” and “24”.
Keeping herself busy in an industry that has been slow to receive actors of an ethnic demographic, Tamlyn is selective in the roles she chooses, steering away from images that perpetuate stereotypes. She is always searching for ways to create or balance images and stories about Asian Americans and to explore with others in and outside the film and television industry on issues she is concerned about.
The Man in High Castle, Godzilla, Mortal Kombat: Legacy
Kevan Ohtsji is a Canadian-born Japanese actor, born and raised in Burnaby, BC. He began studying his craft at the age of seventeen, where he earned his first on-screen role starring in Christophe Gans’ Crying Freeman. His charismatic personality, natural talent, and passion for acting led him to roles on shows such as “Smallville”, “The Butterfly Effect”, “Stargate SG-1”, “Mortal Kombat”, and the Montreal shot mini-series “Race to Mars”. He has also had the opportunity to appear alongside the likes of Morgan Freeman, Jeff Daniels, and Bryan Cranston. Most recently, his credits include the feature film “Darc”, “Godzilla”, “Arrow”, “Beyond”, and “Man in the High Castle”.
You Me Her, Stargate Universe, Travelers, Continuum, The Bletchley Circle: San Francisco
Jennifer Spence is a multiple award-winning actor known for her regular roles on Travelers, You Me Her and The Bletchley Circle: San Francisco. Born in Toronto, she studied at the prestigious National Theatre School of Canada in Montreal before landing in Vancouver where she began her career in film and television. Other memorable appearances include lead, recurring and guest starring roles on Continuum, Life Sentence, Beyond, Van Helsing, Frequency, The Killing, Motive, Supernatural, Stargate Universe, Exes & Ohs and The 4400. Next up is a lead role in a new series called Traces for UKTV and BBC Studios. A project that is especially close to her heart is the feature film Down River. Written and directed by her husband, Benjamin Ratner, Jennifer starred in and was an associate producer on the multiple award-winning film which was released theatrically in Canada to audience and critical acclaim.
One of Jennifer’s greatest passions is mentoring young women through various programs in the film, television and theatre community. She also enjoys writing and is currently developing a half-hour comedy with her husband.