But Ron E. Scottâ€™s previous project, the Edmonton-shot TV drama Blackstone, was so dark and singular that itâ€™s hard to imagine how he might top it with a followup. The series ran for five seasons on Showcase and APTN, offering an unflinching and often harrowing look at the corruption, addiction and violence that plagued a fictional Alberta First Nations reserve. Continue reading.
Jessica Matten is grateful for the chance to co-star on APTN’s Blackstone, Ron E. Scott’s gritty series spotlighting the issues First Nations people face on a reservation. Though Blackstone is a fictional reservation, stories of alcohol and physical abuse, and land rights are certainly based on fact.
“It was awesome to be a part of a show alongside a lot of people from my childhood,” Matten says of her character, Gina. “It was a full-circle thing. And to talk about issues that really matter to me and are close to my heart was really cool to be a part of.” Blackstone was one of her first major acting roles for the actor and Aboriginal fitness company owner and paved the way to her biggest gig to date in Discovery’s Frontier.
Debuting Sunday at 9 p.m. ET, Matten plays Sokanon, a skilled warrior, hunter and tracker in Declan Harp’s (Jason Momoa) Black Wolf Company, a small fur trade outfit taking business from the faltering Hudson’s Bay Company in 1700s Canada. Co-created by Rob and Peter Blackie, Frontier‘s six-episode first season (it’s since been picked up for a sophomore go-round) is a sprawling, violent adventure outlining the founding of Canada. As Matten describes it, it truly was an ordeal to work next to Momoa as his right-hand. Not.
While her fellow co-star, Shawn Doyleâ€”he plays fur trader Samuel Grant in Frontierâ€”is used to being part of period pieces (he assumed the role of John A. Macdonald in CBC’s 2011 TV-movie John A.: Birth of a Country), Matten never thought she’d perform in a historical project because of what she calls a “contemporary First Nations look,” and recalls the irony in being cast because of her lineage.
Last night the Leo Awards presented their gala awards ceremony — the final of three nights celebratingÂ British Columbia’s film and television industry — and the television winners Â were dispersed among several shows.
CTV’s whydunnit Motive won best dramatic series, beating out 19-2, Blackstone, Continuum and The Romeo Section.
In performances, Jared Keeso was named best lead performance by a male for 19-2, and Carmen Moore of Blackstone won best lead performance by a female.Â Lauren Lee Smith of This Life was named best supporting performance by a female, with Osric Chau Â best supporting male for Blood and Water.
Jesse McKeown picked up a screenwriting award for 19-2’s “Orphans” episode, whileÂ David Frazee won best direction in a dramatic series for The Romeo Section’s “Elephant Faces East.”