It’s one thing to make a movie. It’s another to sell it. But if it’s exquisitely packaged from the cinematography to the editing, and hits the viewer on an emotional level, it generally sells itself.
Alberta, with its low investment opportunities, has difficulty attracting big budget TV and film projects. But as witnessed by the 2017 nominees for the 43rd Alberta Film and Television Awards, our home-grown talent can rack up the nods.
In fact, St. Albert has produced some of the most exciting talent featured at the gala presentation tonight at the Shaw Conference Centre.
Fifty-five awards or Rosies (Alberta’s version of the Oscars) will be presented attracting Alberta’s brightest stars working in front and behind the camera. Who will win is anybody’s guess.
However, the passionate Michelle Thrush (Blackstone) is this year’s anointed master of ceremonies and is committed to playing her role with dignity and grace.
The Rosies recognize excellence in all aspects of Alberta’s screen-based content from actors, screenwriters, costume and production designers, cinematographers, editors and directors to make-up artists, special effects artists, sound technicians and composers.
Home-grown St. Albert actor Carlee Ryski, now living in Vancouver, has returned home to participate in the razzle-dazzle event.
Nominated twice in the Best Actress category, Ryski is up for the feature film On the Rocks and the art house film Canary.
“I’m blown away and sincerely humbled and I can’t wait to be in that room with all those incredible filmmakers. It’s going to be a wonderful night,” said Ryski.
On the Rocks, directed by St. Albert writer/director Justin Kueber of Guerilla Motion Pictures, is shot in the Badlands near Drumheller. This coming of age story focuses on two young people in love leading troubled lives and yearning to escape.
The second Ryski film is Canary, a three-minute black and white short shot in one day at St. Albert’s Little White School.
“It’s about a young woman who confronts her destructive thoughts. There’s no dialogue. It’s all voice-over and we watch a transformation where she has to decide if she will defeat her thoughts or let her thoughts of anxiety and depression defeat her,” Risky said.
Canary also received a nomination for Best Short Dramatic, listing Ryski and one of her St. Albert Children’s Theatre cohorts Justin Brunelle as producers.
Brunelle founded Moving Artistry Productions that produced or co-produced 12 finalist nominations. Moving Artistry’s nominations are tied with Mosaic Entertainment also founded by École Secondaire Sainte Marguerite d’Youville graduate Camille Beaudoin and her husband Eric Rebalkin.
Among Mosaic’s nods are nominations for a couple of other St. Albert artists. Jesse Lipscombe is up for Best Performance and Myron Hyrak is in contention for Best Production Designer/Art Director. Both nominations are for It’s Not My Fault and I Don’t Care Anyways starring the late Alan Thicke.
The multi-award winning screenwriter Mark Haroun, now living in Calgary as producer for the CBC hit Heartland, is nominated for writing the contemporary western’s episode of You Just Know.
Another hometown boy, Kurt Spenrath from Open Sky Pictures, has parlayed an acting career into producing films. His Beneath the Surface, an exploration of a severely physically disabled man scuba divining, is nominated for Best Documentary Under 30 minutes.
And last, but certainly not least, former St. Albert sound engineer Johnny Blerot is recognized four times in the Best Overall Sound over 30 minutes. There are a total of six nominations in the category.
For a complete listing of nominees visit ampia.org.