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ACTRA Maritimes ACTRA Awards honour talented quartet of local performers

PRESS RELEASE
For Immediate Use
Date: October 7, 2013

ACTRA Maritimes ACTRA Awards honour talented quartet of local performers
–  Local TV & film actors celebrate 100 years of film in the Maritimes and therefore Canada

Halifax: On Saturday night, members of the TV and film industry descended on the Maritime Museum of The Atlantic for the annual awards gala of ACTRA (Alliance of Canadian Cinema Television and Radio Artists.)

“We are thrilled to hand out awards to some of our most talented performers,” explains Maritimes Branch President Jamie Bradley “It’s been a great year for our industry and the quality of the nominations reflected that.”

Bradley hosted the event on Saturday night and was joined on stage by ACTRA National President Ferne Downey to pass out the accolades.

The awards went to…

For Outstanding Male Performance in a short film:
Christopher Shore in The Long and Short of Barry Small

For Outstanding Female Performance in a Short Film:
Shelley Thompson in Two Penny Road Kill

For Outstanding Female Performance in Feature Film, Movie of the Week, Television, or web-series:
Jane Alexander in Forgive Me, Season 1 Pilot

For Outstanding Male Performance Feature Film, Movie of the Week, Television, or web-series:

John Dunsworth in Forgive Me, Episode 1.2

Winners Dunsworth, Thompson and Shore were in the room to pick up their awards.

(photo L-R: John Dunsworth, Shelley Thompson, ACTRA Maritimes President Jamie Bradley, ACTRA National President Ferne Downey, Chris Shore and Thom Fitzgerald)

Ms. Alexander was out of the country and unable to attend Saturday’s celebration, but the Emmy and Toni Winner and four- time Oscar Nominee who is a permanent resident of Nova Scotia prepared a short greeting that was read by Forgive Me creator Thom Fitzgerald.

“It is a lovely surprise, and I am truly honored to receive this award from ACTRA. Working with Thom Fitzgerald, Doug Pettigrew and everyone involved in Forgive Me was a beautiful experience all the way around. My thanks to them for asking me to play this moving role of a lapsed Catholic. It is wonderful to be welcomed to this great union as a resident of Canada. My mother’s family has been in Nova Scotia since 1753 so I am a lapsed Canadian, since my Nana crossed the border awhile back. It is good to be home”

As he addressed the packed party, Bradley commented: “Tonight we celebrate our own. And we have great cause to celebrate. Exactly one hundred years ago, Nova Scotian actors stepped in front film cameras. They were making history about history.” The event was recognizing the creation of the first feature-length dramatic film to be shot in Canada.

The production was “Evangeline”, based on Longfellow’s epic poem about the expulsion of the Acadians, and at a budget of $30,000 (that’s over half a million in today’s dollar) it was shot almost entirely on location, in Eastern Passage, Cow Bay, Annapolis Royal and Grand Pre.

The finished film ran about 75 minutes; most films at that time took up one reel, “Evangeline” took up five.

“It was considered an international commercial and artistic success,” says Bradley.  “And that was the start of our indigenous film industry. One hundred years later, here we stand together, fellow actors of ACTRA Maritimes.  Six hundred and forty members strong in a small region; three provinces with less than two million people.”

“We constantly and consistently fight above our weight class,” he says, proudly. “Our region is the fourth largest production centre in Canada.”

ACTRA (Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists) is the union of more than 22,000 professional performers working in English-language recorded media in Canada including TV, film, radio and digital media

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