Tag Archives: APTN

APTN original series Mohawk Girls fifth and final season begins shooting

From a media release:

Rezolution Pictures announced that Season 5 of the APTN (Aboriginal Peoples Television Network) hit dramedy series Mohawk Girls will begin filming today, once again in Montreal and the Kahnawake Mohawk Territory in Quebec, where the show is set. Mohawk Girls’ final season will air on APTN in fall 2017.

The series was nominated for multiple Canadian Screen Awards for the last two years running, including Best Comedy Series, Best Direction in a Comedy Series, Best Writing in a Comedy Series, and Best Actress in a Comedy Series. And this year, actress Brittany LeBorgne was nominated in the Fan’s Choice category.

Mohawk Girls takes a comedic look at the lives of four modern-day women trying to stay true to their roots while navigating sex, work, love and what it means to be Mohawk in the 21st century. Set in Kahnawake, the half-hour dramedy follows these twenty-something women as they begin to forge their own identity within a community embedded with rules and cultural traditions.

This season, Bailey deals with the repercussions of leaving Mohawk fiancé Watio in favour of white guy James. Zoe gets out of rehab for sex addiction but the pressure to get back into her community’s good graces — leads her to the brink of relapse. Caitlin enjoys the highs of being back in a relationship with Butterhead. But when she’s reminded of the lows, Caitlin can’t quite bring herself to fully break it off with her former flame Leon. And Anna finally gets everything she’s always wanted – total acceptance into this community. But it comes at a high cost that she’s not sure she’s willing to pay.

The dynamic cast of four leading women includes returning cast members Jenny Pudavick (Bailey), Brittany LeBorgne (Zoe), Heather White (Caitlin), and Maika Harper (Anna).  Meegwun Fairbrother (Butterhead), Jimmy Blais (Watio) and Shawn Youngchief (Ohserase), Dwain Murphy (Leon) reprise their roles as the men they love. Also returning, Tantoo Cardinal as Zoe’s mom, Glen Gould as Bailey’s father and Jeffrey Wetsch as James.

Mohawk Girls is created and executive produced by Tracey Deer and Cynthia Knight; Tracey Deer directs the episodes and Cynthia Knight is the head writer. The series is produced by Rezolution Pictures’ Catherine Bainbridge, Christina Fon and Linda Ludwick, and executive produced by Catherine Bainbridge, Christina Fon, Linda Ludwick and Ernest Webb. Innovate By Day is the Digital Media Producer. Monika Ille is the Executive Director, Programming and Scheduling for APTN.

About Rezolution Pictures
The series is developed and produced by Rezolution Pictures’ Catherine Bainbridge, Christina Fon and Linda Ludwick, and executive produced by Catherine Bainbridge, Christina Fon, Linda Ludwick and Ernest Webb, the same team that produced the multiple-Gemini and Peabody Award-winning film, Reel Injun, as well as several award-winning documentaries and television series including Smoke Traders, Club Native, and Down The Mighty River. Rezolution Pictures’ feature film RUMBLE: The Indians Who Rocked the World has won several awards, including the Sundance Festival’s World Cinema Documentary Special Jury Award for Masterful Storytelling and the Rogers Audience Award for Best Canadian Documentary at the Hot Docs Festival.

Rezolution Pictures is an award-winning film, television and interactive media production company, founded by Catherine Bainbridge and Ernest Webb, which plays a vital role in bringing cultural diversity to the North American broadcasting landscape. Since 2001 it has built itself a reputation for creating acclaimed series and one-of-a-kind productions, working with many of Canada’s best new and established talents to create unique comedy, dramatic, non-fiction and video game programming, through its sister company Minority Media.


APTN’s Hit the Ice casting for Season 6 participants

From a media release:

The youth hockey series Hit The Ice will return to APTN for its sixth season in 2018.

Therefore, the producer NISH MEDIA is currently recruiting through a Virtual Tryout, hockey players aged between 16 and 18 years old and assistant coaches who will live the experience and the rigours of a professional hockey training camp aside ex-NHL coach and player John Chabot.

The Virtual Tryout is the first step in possibly being one of the prospects of the television show, which could bring the selected players to a top junior hockey league in a near future.

To enter and to be eligible for the Virtual Tryout, the entrant must 1) be a legal resident of Canada 2) have indigenous ancestry 3) have the authorization from their parents or guardians 4) fully and accurately complete the registration form that can be found on the Virtual Tryout at www.hittheice.tv and 5) tape a short video.

Nish Media has established a judge’s panel, which will evaluate the entries and select up as many players as it deems necessary. Players selected to take part in the show will be contacted by phone approximately one month before the shooting, which will be held in Winnipeg, Manitoba this July.

All selected players will not have to pay for any of the accommodations, travel or food. The complete details with regards to registration for the sixth season of Hit The Ice TV show are available at www.hittheice.tv by clicking on the BE A PART OF SEASON 6 button.

Candidates have until MAY 22, 2017 to register and be a part of this unique hockey experience! Hit The Ice is produced by Nish Media, a multi-award-winning production company based in the Ottawa-Gatineau area. The past seasons of this series key piece have been nominated in prestigious television festivals such as the Banff World Media Festival and by the FICTS in Italy.


APTN’s Mohawk Girls ending after five seasons

It’s the end of the road for Mohawk Girls. That’s the word from co-creator, co-executive producer and director Tracey Deer, who broke the news to TV, Eh? during a one-on-one interview at the Toronto Screenwriting Conference. Deer was part of a panel entitled I Am: A Discussion on the Female Gaze alongside Shoot the Messenger‘s Jennifer Holness, Degrassi‘s Courtney Jane Walker, Odd Squad‘s Robby Hoffman and moderated by Saving Hope‘s Katrina Saville.

“This is our final season,” Deer confirmed. “[Cynthia Knight] and I have always known where we wanted to get these girls, from the three-arc conception of the show, so we’re doing it.”

Filmed and set in Montreal and the Kahnawake Mohawk Territory, Mohawk Girls stars Brittany LeBorgne as Zoe, Heather White as Caitlin, Maika Harper as Anna and Jennifer Pudavick as Bailey. Pre-production on Season 5 begins next week; the last six episodes were greenlit by APTN two weeks ago.

Mohawk Girls has been nominated for several Canadian Screen Awards, including Best Comedy Series, Best Direction in a Comedy Program or Series, Best Writing in a Comedy Program or Series and Best Performance by an Actress in a Continuing Comedic Role for LeBorgne.

What can fans expect from Season 5? Deer was mum on details but did say the series’ final scene makes her cry every time she thinks about it.

“The final scene is going to be traumatic [to film],” Deer admits. “There is an event that is going to take up a lot of the final episode and there is a pool involved.”

Are you upset Mohawk Girls is ending? Do you have a message for the cast and co-creators? Comment below.


A new and improved Guilt Free Zone

Admittedly, I had never heard of Guilt Free Zone, so quite obviously I had never seen it before. That also meant the total revamp of the series—returning Saturday at 11:30 p.m. ET—was entirely lost on me. Also, I have to admit that I am not much of a blues fan either. However,  the screeners were passed on for me to take a look and I went in with no preconceptions and no Season 1—GFZ was more of a talk show last year—to compare with before I watched a couple of episodes.

I laughed. Some of the gags seemed a bit forced, the way live theatre often looks on TV. But still, I laughed. A few gags were predictable. I still laughed. Out loud. As a variety show, Guilt Free Zone kind of works for me. If you go back and watch old reels of The Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour or Laugh-In (yes, I know that dates me, but really how many comedy variety shows are out there these days?), those gags were forced, but they worked. They work here too.

Guilt Free Zone is set in a fictional blues bar owned and operated by none other than Derek Miller. He won the bar from its original owner in a poker game.  I do have to wonder if that was an intentional loss. Be that as it may, in each episode our stalwart cast of miscreants must battle back forces of evil to protect their new hangout. The cast is made up of Miller, Amy Matysio (Just Friends), Darrell Dennis (Leaving Normal), Herbie Barnes (Dance Me Outside), Michaela Washburn (Video Cabaret), Camille Stopps (Reign) and Craig Lauzon (Royal Canadian Air Farce).

The premiere episode, entitled “Science,” directed by Darrell Dennis, also features a special guest appearance by Gary Farmer (Blackstone and Forever Knight). The team battles asteroids, tornadoes and hurricanes; the world is in danger of complete destruction by mother nature’s wrath. If everyone worrying about the apocalypse, no one will bother coming down to the bar for that night’s gig. Our team must come up with a solution to ensure a full house.

Yes, the premise is quirky—even absurd—but Miller and castmate Herbie Barnes play off each other well. (The satirical nod to Iron Eyes Cody’s Make America Beautiful Again is perfect). The addition of Farmer as one of the Oracles is priceless. His proclamation “the only way to restore balance to nature is with nature” is kind of genius! I won’t give away the solution. Episode 1’s musical guests are Lee Harvey Osmond and Logan Stats.

A fun little show overall.

Guilt Free Zone airs Saturdays at 11:30 p.m. ET on APTN.