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Press Kit Text Only Jan Blackstone TV Series hr Drama

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DISCLAIMER
The characters, reserve, band and events depicted in Blackstone are entirely fictional.



PROGRAM TITLE
Blackstone – Cycle I (1-9)



LOGLINE
In this raw, authentic drama set on the Blackstone First Nation, a new generation struggles to
lead a broken community against the betrayal and corruption of the old regime.



SYNOPSIS
Intense, compelling and confrontational, Blackstone is an unmuted exploration of First Nations‟
power and politics, unfolding over nine one-hour episodes. This raw, authentic drama tells the
story of the fictional Blackstone First Nation, suffering disintegration by its own hand – the result
of the corruption of its Chief and Council. From within the community, a new generation of leaders
rise up and fight to create lasting and substantial change.

“Blackstone is relevant and relational in an Aboriginal story world, with universal themes and
conflicts that are not only relatable to some First Nations out there today, but also to the world of
politics and power in general,” said Ron E. Scott, who created, wrote, directed and executive
produced the series.

An uncompromising story told from an Aboriginal point of view, Blackstone is in sharp contrast to
sympathetic stories about First Nations‟ people being victimized by outside forces. While the
dramatization can be dark and all too real, Blackstone is foremost a story of hope and
reconciliation in its portrayal of Native people fighting for a better life in their community.


Blackstone – Cycle I (1-9)
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EPISODE DESCRIPTIONS
Ep 101 – “Future? What Future?”
In the pilot episode, the Blackstone First Nation struggles with disintegration of the community by
its own hand.

Ep 102 – “A New Beginning”
Newly elected Chief Leona struggles in her role, while Andy orchestrates the removal of
incriminating files.

Ep 103 – “White Bread Red Class”
Tensions rise as Leona discovers missing funds from the Band‟s account while dealing with the
complications of hiring a white substitute teacher.

Ep 104 – “Suffer the Children”
While the Blackstone band members air their concerns over the new leadership, Leona allows the
police to investigate a child abuse case in the community.

Ep 105 – “Ditch Monkey”
Leona faces both a personal and public crisis when Gail ends up in the hospital and Andy leads a
movement to unseat her as Chief.

Ep 106 – “Daddy’s Home”
When Andy coordinates a vote to replace Leona, she moves off Blackstone and pursues the
conviction of Phil Henry.

Ep 107 – “Bingo Night”
Leona and members of Blackstone take the stand as the sexual abuse case comes to a head.

Ep 108 – “Push Pull Twist Turn”
Andy and Daryl collide over money while Leona returns to Blackstone focused on healing the
community.

Ep 109 – “Time’s Up”
In the Season 1 Finale, Andy„s world unravels when he is forced out of the strip-club expansion,
as Leona faces opposition as the school‟s new counselor.




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CAST

Carmen Moore as Leona Stoney

From a very successful start in Vancouver, British Columbia‟s theatre community, Carmen has
spent the better part of the past 18 years working in Television and Film. Highlights from the past
5 years include: in 2007 Carmen played the recurring role of Jolie Lavant on the Sci-Fi series
Flash Gordon. From 2004 to 2005 Carmen played one of the lead characters, Simone in
Vancouver‟s Godiva’s, and was nominated for a Leo (BC Film / Television Awards) for her
performance as the man-eating bartender. After Godiva’s Carmen worked on the Canadian
Independent Feature Film Unnatural and Accidental where she was honoured with the Women in
Film & Video Artistic Merit Award for her portrayal of Rebecca. Unnatural & Accidental also
received honourable mention for best Canadian Film at the 2006 Vancouver International Film
Festival, and was nominated for Best Feature at the 2007 Leo Awards.

Carmen has worked on dozens of television and movie sets in unique and challenging roles. Of
noteworthy significance: Rosehill where she worked with Jennifer Garner and Justin Chambers.
She appeared in Spooky House playing Sir Ben Kingsley‟s wife, Dawn Starr. Carmen appeared
for Ving Rhames as his lawyer on UC-Undercover, played Deputy Molly Bloom in the series Wolf
Lake with Lou Diamond Phillips and played a teacher opposite John Cusack in Martian Child.
She appeared as Sherry Goodstrike in Stone Undercover (aka Tom Stone), and was featured in
the fourth season of Andromeda as Tri-Jema with Kevin Sorbo. Carmen can also be seen in the
first two seasons of Caprica, as Fidelia Fazekas, on the Sci-Fi Network.




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Eric Schweig as Andy Fraser

A prolific Canadian actor of German and Inuit decent, Eric Schweig has excelled onscreen since
his feature debut in the 1990 drama The Shaman's Source. A notable key player in such
subsequent features in the 1990s as The Last of the Mohicans, Squanto: A Warrior’s Tale and
The Scarlet Letter, he won the Grand Jury Award at the 2000 L/A Outfits for his performance as a
quiet and unassuming general store owner who unexpectedly falls for a New York artist in the
independent drama Big Eden, which earned almost unanimous critical praise. He also starred in
Ron Howard‟s The Missing, Cowboys and Indians: The J.J. Harper Story, Into The West, Shania:
A Life in Eight Albums, Indian Summer: The Oka Crisis, One Dead Indian, and the Emmy-winning
Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee. He currently can be seen in the television series directed by
Norma Bailey, Cashing In and as a lead in the APTN and Showcase series Blackstone.

Schweig was adopted by a German family living in the Western Arctic shortly after his birth in the
Canadian Northwest Territories in the summer of 1967, and though he would spend much of his
youth living in Bermuda with his adopted family, the clan eventually returned to Canada to settle
in Northern Ontario. Striking out on his own at the age of 16, Schweig made a living by framing
houses before a role in a 1987 Ontario stage production of The Cradle Will Fall sparked an
interest in acting.

In addition to his acting career, Schweig has also gained a solid reputation as an artist, which
began with his friendship with acclaimed West Coast carver, Vern Etzerza. Schweig‟s carved
masks now sell around the world.




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Michelle Thrush as Gail Stoney

Michelle has been working professionally in film, television and theatre for over twenty years,
being cast in her first role in Isaac Littlefeathers in 1984. She now has dozens of credits in the
industry as well as awards and special recognitions.

Some of her television credits include being a regular character on the popular series Moccasin
Flats. She is currently starring in her second season of the comedy hit Mixed Blessings as Kate,
and the newly released APTN pilot Blackstone, in which she was honored to receive the Best
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Supporting Actress award at the 33 Annual American Indian Film Festival in San Francisco.
She also received a Best Actress Award nomination at the 2010 Alberta Film & Television
Awards. She is also known for her role in the CBC series North of 60 as Sylvie Lebret.

Michelle has appeared in numerous films such as Unnatural and Accidental ; shot in Vancouver
with a strong cast of Aboriginal leading ladies, this award winning film explored the
disappearance of women on the lower east side and premiered at the Toronto International Film
Festival. She won the award of Best Supporting Actress at the First Americans in the Arts
Awards in Los Angeles in 1999 for her role opposite Jack Palance in the western Ebeneezer.
She was also cast in the films Pathfinder, Don’t Call Me Tonto, and the cult classic Deadman,
whom she played opposite Johnny Depp and Gary Farmer.

Michelle was a long time member of Crazy Horse Aboriginal Theatre Company in Calgary for
seven successful years and eventually became the Artistic Director. She has written, directed,
and produced theatre as well as had many leading roles across Canada.

Known for her work in the community Michelle has toured extensively through both Canada and
the States with her one-woman shows. Working with youth and children has been a very
important aspect of her career as she teaches classes as well as uses her skills as an actress to
promote healing through the arts.




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Nathaniel Arcand as Victor Merasty

Nathaniel Arcand‟s career began 20 years ago when he accompanied a close friend to a photo
shoot and was approached by Darryl Mork of Darryl Mork Talent Agency. After starring in a few
smaller roles for local independent filmmakers, Nathaniel‟s big break came when he auditioned
for the role of William MacNeil in the hit CBC TV series North of 60. The rest, as they say, is
history…

This role was a huge stepping-stone for him, and as a result, landed him guest appearances in
other such popular television shows as Due South, Incredible Story Studio, Caitlin’s Way,
Shoebox Zoo and Smallville. Over the next five years, Nathaniel watched his television career
soar, and found himself co-starring with the likes of Luke Perry and Malcolm Jamal-Warner
(Jeremiah), as well as with veteran actor Nicholas Campbell (DaVinci’s City Hall, DaVinci's
Inquest). He even had the chance to work with his son Griffin Powell-Arcand in Hallmark
Entertainment‟s 2-part TV mini-series, Dreamkeeper. One of his most memorable roles was the
role of Tonto in the television movie The Lone Ranger (he is, to this date, the youngest actor to
play the notable part!).

Aside from his first major film role as Ned White Bear in the 1999 film Grey Owl, his other notable
film credits include Two Indians Talking, Every Emotion Costs, Elektra, Black Cloud, Ginger
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Snaps Back, American Outlaws and 20 Century Fox‟s Pathfinder.

Nathaniel has won many awards during his career, and remains very humble about his talents.
Among winning the award for Best Supporting Actor in Shirley Cheechoo‟s film Johnny Tootall,
which was screened at the American Indian Film Festival in San Francisco in November 2005, he
was the recipient of the Performing Arts Award at the Aboriginal Role Models of Alberta awards
ceremony held in Edmonton in November 2006.

In addition to CBC‟s mini-series Northern Town, Nathaniel also starred in the APTN Pilot Clean
Fight as the lead role of Trevor, a kickboxer struggling with diabetes, and his determination to
defeat this disease. Other TV appearances include the Nora Roberts‟ movie of the week
Montana Sky (Lifetime Network), and Showcase‟s Moose TV (as Clifford). Nathaniel also returns
for Season 3 as Scott Cardinal in CBC‟s TV series Heartland.




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Roseanne Supernault as Natalie Stoney

Roseanne Supernault grew up in the small Metis Settlement of East Prairie until she moved to
Edmonton, Alberta with her family at the age of six. Supernault graduated from Victoria School of
Performing and Visual Arts in June of 2007. After taking a year off of school, she was accepted
into the Alberta Core Actor‟s Group in June 2008 and completed the program in August 2009.

Supernault was discovered by Los Angeles Casting Director Rene Haynes at an open casting call
at Sherbrooke Junior High School in Edmonton. Haynes was searching for a girl to play Tiger Lily
in the feature film Peter Pan. Supernault was short listed, and although she lost out on the part,
she was recommended to and signed with acting agent Darryl Mork. Since then she has
appeared in Steven Spielberg‟s TV mini series, Into the West, APTN‟s drama series, Rabbit Fall,
the ASTech Award Vignettes, and several Family Channel commercials. In November of 2009
the Pilot of Blackstone aired on Aboriginal People Television Network, with Supernault playing
Natalie, a troubled and abused teen who is addicted to gas sniffing. She won the Best Actress
AMPIA award for her performance.

In the winter of 2009 she completed filming in Ontario as the lead of Quilla, in the film Every
Emotion Costs, directed by Darlene Naponse. She plays across Michelle St. John (Smoke
Signals, Pocahontas), Nathaniel Arcand (Ginger Snaps Back: The Beginning, Dreamkeeper),
Adam Garcia (Coyote Ugly), and veteran actor Tantoo Cardinal (Dances with Wolves, Legends of
the Fall, North of 60, Moccasin Flats). Most recently, Supernault completed filming Doomsday
Scrolls in Vancouver, British Columbia across Jewel Staite (Stargate: Atlantis), A.J. Buckley (CSI:
NY), and Gordon Tootoosis (Legends of the Fall, North of 60, X-Files, Dreamkeeper).

Supernault enjoys writing and hopes to make her own films someday. Some of her many talents
include martial arts, basketball, volleyball, handball, and swimming. In her spare time she paints,
draws, and sings. One of her greatest ambitions is to start her own Film and Theater Production
Company. With a strong work ethic she presents a uniquely passionate and quirky demeanor. In
tandem with being a pleasure to work with, Roseanne is a genuinely disciplined and focused
actor.




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Gordon Tootoosis as Cecil Delaronde

Gordon Tootoosis was born on the Poundmaker Indian Reserve in Saskatchewan, Canada. With
his ten brothers and three sisters, he was raised with a strong Cree belief system, including
knowledge of the language, Cree art forms and worldview.

At a very early age, Gordon became a cowboy and went on to become a champion Calf Roper
and Team Roper. An accomplished native dancer, he toured with the Plains InterTribal Dance
Troupe in the „60s and „70s throughout Canada, Europe and South America. Gordon was also a
Social Worker, specializing in areas of childcare and dealing with young offenders.

Tootoosis made his film debut in 1972 in Alien Thunder, with Donald Sutherland. He has since
appeared in many film, television and theatre productions. A few of his film credits include: The
Closer You Get To Canada, The Doomsday Scrolls, The HBO Feature Bury My Heart at
Wounded Knee, The Dreamworks/TNT mini-series Into The West, Nobody’s Baby, The Doe Boy,
Legends of the Fall, Alaska, Lone Star, and Black Robe. Some of his television credits include
the Telefilm Big Bear (as Big Bear), the hit series North of 60 for 5 seasons as series regular
Albert Golo, as well as series regular roles on Shoebox Zoo, Moccasin Flats, and numerous
guest starring roles including 2 episodes of the hit series Smallville. Gordon is also the voice of
Gordy in the Sony Pictures box office smash hit Open Season.

Gordon Tootoosis currently lives in Cutknife, Saskatchewan with his wife Irene and 4 of their
grandchildren.




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Steven Cree Molison as Daryl Fraser

Born of Metis ancestry in southern British Columbia, Steven was adopted at the age of 6 months
and raised in northern Canada‟s Yukon and Northwest Territories. Adventurous and rebellious,
Steven left home and the north at 16. He has met with many varied and diverse life experiences,
some more difficult than others, but his resilience has always remained and enhanced the
authenticity of the characters he portrays.

Always passionate about art and creating music, Steven had an early interest in acting and soon
arrived in Vancouver at the age of 20 to try his hand on the stage and screen, but the twists in life
and his young family responsibilities, ultimately shelved the dream. He worked as a carpenter
and home builder, often teaching his trade in small northern communities in BC, for over 20
years. As fate would have it, a severe motorcycle accident and brain injury presented Steven the
opportunity to choose a career in the film industry once again, some twenty years later. He
began working as a stunt performer and then went on to study for two years graduating from the
full-time program at Vancouver‟s William Davis Centre for Acting in 2001.

Steven has been pursuing the dream ever since and has appeared in numerous TV series and
films, including Trust and My Name is Sarah. Feature films notably include: Don’t Call Me Tonto -
alongside Blackstone‟s Michelle Thrush and Gordon Tootoosis, Afghan Nights with Michael
Madsen, and the Oscar award-winning Brokeback Mountain opposite the late Heath Ledger.
Steven brings an eclectic energy and passion to his roles and he is known for his intensity and
commitment to his profession as an actor .

Steven lives in Vancouver and finds inspiration in his love for his three grandchildren:
Jozef, Autumn, and Myja.




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Andrea Menard as Debbie Fraser

Multi-award winning, Métis singer/songwriter and actress, Andrea Menard, has been busy in both
music and film.

The creative spark inside Andrea Menard has caught fire on her third album, Sparkle, a multi-
genre original work that celebrates the glittering winter and the urge to go deep within. The
original songs, written with long-time collaborator and producer Robert Walsh, are featured in a
television holiday special, called Sparkle: An Evening with Andrea Menard, that will be broadcast
on APTN in the 2010 holiday season.

The talented songstress‟ first two award-winning albums, Simple Steps (2005) and The Velvet
Devil (2002), both feature original songs written by Menard and Robert Walsh. Both CDs have
received much acclaim across the country and internationally.

The award-winning film adaptation of her one-woman musical stage play The Velvet Devil with
WestWind Pictures (Little Mosque on the Prairie), debuted nationally on CBC’s television series
Opening Night. The Velvet Devil swept 13 Showcase Awards at the 2008 SMPIA Awards, with
Menard herself winning three, including “Best Original Script”, “Best Actress”, and “Best Original
Score”. Andrea‟s performance received rave reviews and garnered a Gemini nomination for
“Best Performance by an Actress” in 2006. Andrea recently went on a second cross country tour
with the acclaimed stage play production of The Velvet Devil.

Andrea also stars in the APTN and Space TV series, Rabbit Fall (Angel Entertainment), a
supernatural crime drama shot in Saskatchewan. She won “Best Female Lead” at the 2009
SMPIA Awards and was nominated for a 2009 Gemini Award for “Best Actress in a Dramatic
Role”. This is Menard‟s second nomination in the same category for her role in the
groundbreaking Canadian drama, Moccasin Flats. Andrea recently performed in Germany at the
Indianer-Inuit Film Festival, where they screened the film version of The Velvet Devil, and her first
video, Evergreen. The video also screened at the ImagineNATIVE Film Festival, the Reel World
Film Festival and was nominated for “Best Music Video” at the Canadian Aboriginal Music
Awards. Also, Andrea was asked to perform in the Athletes‟ Village in Whistler during the 2010
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Vancouver Olympics and co-hosted the 17 Annual National Aboriginal Achievement Awards.




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Ray G. Thunderchild as Tom Fraser

Ray G. Thunderchild was born in the North Battleford Indian Hospital in Saskatchewan on
February 28, 1956. His childhood education was based on traditional ways and the traditional
style of singing and drumming.

For the past 45 years Ray has dedicated his life to carry on his family tradition which is travelling
"The Powwow Trail". Today he sings and travels to powwows throughout North America
entertaining audiences with his singing style. This has earned Ray tremendous recognition.

Ray currently resides in Vancouver where he continues to broaden his knowledge of the powwow
system. With his established reputation for innovative skills, he has successfully guided
numerous organizations in the development of prospering powwows in their communities. Ray
has expanded his range of vision and is now available as a powwow consultant.




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Justin Rain as Alan Fraser

Justin Rain has always enjoyed performing. Since moving to Vancouver a few years ago he‟s
really developed himself as an artist and achieved many of his goals. Justin trained with the
Urban Native Theatre Company, William Davis Center, VADA and various other private acting
coaches to help him develop his craft.

After some feverous years of training his hard work began to pay off. “There have been so many
projects I‟ve been thankful to work on.” With roles on The Guard, Two Indians Talking and other
amazing projects, Justin is grateful for every opportunity.

Believing that the art is the key factor to success has helped Justin along the way. “Everyone is
born an artist, an artist with a creative intuition. The hard part is keeping the creative spirit alive
within yourself.”

With his role on The Twilight Saga: Eclipse, Justin‟s career is continually gaining momentum.
“Working on that scale of a production was an achievement in itself. An unforgettable experience
with an amazing cast and crew.”




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Ashley Callingbull as Sheila Delaronde

Ashley Callingbull is a 20 year old Cree First Nations woman from the Enoch Cree Nation in the
province of Alberta. Ashley grew up poor and was abused as a child. Her tough upbringing in
nearby Hobbema, rationing food for most of her adolescence and a victim of abuse, gave her the
strength and courage to overcome many of life‟s obstacles.

She is very devoted to her culture and people, and takes pride in her Native Cree heritage, and
has shown this through her volunteer work with community elders and aboriginal youth. By the
time Ashley reached 10 years old; she had consecutively won all Enoch‟s princess crowns. She
is a professionally trained dancer in tap, ballet, jazz, pointe and performed in the Nutcracker.
Ashley‟s interest in acting led her to starring in a commercial for The Hudson Bay, and has
appeared in television mini-series, acted in countless stage performances and has lent her voice
for cartoons.
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All Ashley‟s hard work and dedication is paying off. In June 2010, Ashley placed 2 Runner up in
the Miss Universe Canada 2010 Pageant. She is the first Cree First Nations Woman to achieve
this goal. During her reign as a Miss Universe Canada 2010 finalist, she traveled to hospitals and
schools wearing her MUC sash, speaking about her life and reaching out to others. The loss of
some very close family members has led Ashley to also support the Stollery Children‟s Hospital,
Walk for the Cure, Run for the Lung and mentor underprivileged aboriginal youth. Recently,
Ashley was chosen as Miss Canada for the Miss International Pageant held in Hubei, China from
September 5 – 30, 2010 and will continue to represent Canada in International Pageant
Competitions.

Ashley truly believes that education is the basis of all her success. At the age of 16, Ashley
graduated from High School and is continuing with her University studies to pursue her Bachelor
of Arts degree focusing on drama and acting. Ashley hopes to provide inspiration to other young
aboriginals. In all, Ashley is a well-educated, beautiful, talented young woman with tons of
potential, who recognizes her family, friends and sponsors for helping her along the way.




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Lee Tomaschefski as Angel

Born and raised in Saskatchewan, Canada, Lee has made large strides in the music industry and
in the TV and film industry. Lee's music career began at a very young age, and once in
Vancouver she beat out thousands for a place on the reality based show Pop Stars. Her music
career moved forward as did her TV and film career. Lee has appeared on many TV shows and
films, most recently Lee was flown to Prague, Czech Republic to film a movie with Daryl Hannah.
Lee has a following in Asia, Eastern Europe and Italy as well as the UK where Lee was the host
of the popular sports betting network, called Bet Republic. Lee can be seen on the big screen
this coming fall in a principle role in Zak Snyder's Sucker Punch. Zak also invited Lee to
contribute some music to the show with talented song writer and musician, David Musleman. Lee
is thrilled to be a part of Blackstone and to be able to bring Angel to life.




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KEY CREATIVES

Ron E. Scott - Executive Producer, Director & Writer
The prolific and passionate Ron E. Scott craves excellence. He simultaneously issues and
answers the charge for more engaging, more thoughtful, more diverse creative productions.
Under the banner of Prairie Dog Film + Television, he has written, produced and directed several
diverse film and television productions. Most recently, he acted as Executive Producer, Writer,
and Director for the ground breaking dramatic series Blackstone (9 one-hour episodes). His
other credits include Mixed Blessings (Cycles I, II & III), Cashing In (Season I), Hank Williams
First Nation (Season I), Adventures of Artie the Ant (Animation), Rubberman (Feature) and
Consequences (Short). His lifestyle credits include My Green House (Season I), Cowboy
Country (Seasons I - IV), Code Green Canada (Season I), Young As You Look (Special) and
Race and the River (Special). His television programs have aired on ACCESS, APTN, CBC,
Citytv, CLT, CTV, Global, SCN, Vision TV, and in several international broadcast markets
including the US, China, Hong Kong, Eastern & Western Europe and South Africa.




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Jesse Szymanski - Producer

Jesse is an integral part of the Producing team and acts with exceptional proficiency and
enthusiastic initiative. She is the Producer of Blackstone (9 episode One-Hour Dramatic Series),
a Producer and Associate Producer for Mixed Blessings (26 episode Half-Hour Comedy Series),
as well as a Producer & Director for My Green House (13 episode Half-Hour Lifestyle Series),
which focuses on eco-friendly lifestyle changes. She has written, produced, directed and hosted a
myriad of shows & promos, which have aired on Citytv, ACCESS and CHUM affiliate stations.
While with CHUM, Jesse built Speaker’s Corner Alberta from the ground up - an interactive on-
the-street reality television show, while also writing and producing award-winning educational
videos. Jesse was also an on-air entertainment reporter for The City Show and Your City for
Citytv Edmonton, covering everything from local arts and culture, to high profile celebrities.




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Damon Vignale – Producer & Writer
A writer, producer and director, Damon marked his feature film debut with Little Brother of War;
nominated for 5 Leo‟s and winner of the Star! TV Audience Award. His sophomore film The
Entrance was also a festival hit. Distributed by Lionsgate Films and Mongrel Media, the film
garnered a Best Director Award at the Erie Film Festival. In 2009 Damon wrote 3 episodes for
Mixed Blessings, APTN‟s hit family comedy series, before joining the writing team of
Blackstone. Recently, Damon wrote, produced and directed the Gemini Award winning web
series The Vetala.




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Gil Cardinal – Writer
Award-winning filmmaker Gil Cardinal wrote the pilot for Blackstone after gathering extensive
research on the issues facing many Aboriginal communities. Of Metis descent, the greater part of
his work has related to an exploration of Aboriginal themes. With numerous credits as a director
on Mocassin Flats, Chiefs, Mentors, and North of 60, Gil also wrote and directed Indian
Summer: The Oka Crisis, Totem: The Return of the G’psgolox Pole and Big Bear. Gil
believes Blackstone provides an opportunity for Aboriginal communities to intimately understand
their own issues.




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WEBSITE INFO
www.blackstonetheseries.com



CONTACT INFO
Jesse Szymanski
Ph: (780) 435-7735
jesse@prairiedog.ca
www.prairiedog.ca



PUBLICITY
RAS Creative
Ph: (204) 783-7600
roseanna@mts.net
www.ras-creative.com




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