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Homegrown shows garner award nominations

Canadian Screen Awards nominate Tiny Plastic Men and Blackstone

By: Anna Borowiecki

  |  Posted: Saturday, Jan 18, 2014 06:00 am

TINY MEN, BIG LAUGHS – St. Albert's Matt Alden (left) Mark Meer and Chris Craddock (sitting) are the stars of Tiny Plastic Men, which has been nominated for Best Comedy Series at the Canadian Screen Awards.
TINY MEN, BIG LAUGHS – St. Albert's Matt Alden (left) Mark Meer and Chris Craddock (sitting) are the stars of Tiny Plastic Men, which has been nominated for Best Comedy Series at the Canadian Screen Awards.
Supplied photo

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The Canadian Screen Awards just sent word down the pipe. Two television series shot in Edmonton are up for the country’s highest honours in cinematic excellence.

The eight-episode Tiny Plastic Men, a Mosaic Entertainment production viewed on the pay-per-view Super Channel, is nominated in the category of Best Comedy Series.

And Blackstone, a three-year-old series created by Prairie Dog Film & Television and broadcast on APTN (Aboriginal Peoples Television Network) garnered five nominations including Best Dramatic Series.

St. Albert hometown boy Matt Alden, one of stars and chief writers who created Tiny Plastic Men, was surprised by the nomination.

“We were the underdog, the little TV show, so it was great to be nominated. It’s a big deal for us,” says Alden who at the time of this interview was in a meeting for season three.

Creators Chris Craddock, Mark Meer and Alden play three über geeks who work at Gottlieb Brothers Toy and Train Company building and testing new toys. Each episode encompasses animation, flashbacks and fantasy clips.

Alden adds that receiving a nomination for a pay-per-view series with fewer viewers than the national networks says something about the quality of Tiny Plastic Men.

“You know it wasn’t a popularity contest. We got nominated because it’s a good show. It’s got good writing, an amazing cast, great directors and great producers.”

By contrast, Blackstone, a dramatic series that first aired in 2010, has already received a huge swath of awards.

The series, shot at different locations in Edmonton and Namao, is set on the Blackstone Reserve and deals with hard-hitting issues that affect aboriginals.

Prairie Dog founder Ron Scott, who also functions as producer-writer-director of the series, has received a nomination for co-writing with Damon Vignale.

Leading actress Michelle Thrush is once again nominated for Best Actress while Cheri Meracle was given the nod for Best Supporting Actress.

Blackstone has also been nominated for a Diversity Award. As for the stellar nomination Best Dramatic Series, Blackstone is up against some heavyweights such as Bomb Girls, Flashpoint and Orphan Black.

The Canadian Screen Awards combines television, film and a digital media component.

Martin Short, Canada’s king of comedy, will host the two-hour awards from the prestigious Sony Centre for the Performing Arts in Toronto. It will be broadcast nationally Sunday, March 9 on CBC.


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