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Alberta’s best in TV, film feted at Rosies

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Alberta’s best in TV, film feted at Rosies

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 By Eric Volmers, Calgary Herald May 13, 2012  Tweet Â
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Stuart Gradon, Calgary Herald Former Alberta premier Peter Lougheed credited his wife, Jeane, with convincing him that Alberta needed a ministry for culture, after receiving a lifetime achievement award from Premier Alison Redford at the Rosies on Saturday.

Photograph by: Stuart Gradon , Calgary Herald

It may have taken a decade for the Rosies to return to Calgary, but organizers couldn’t have picked a better year to celebrate Alberta’s film and TV industry in Cowtown.

Calgary productions and performers took home the hardware in most major categories Saturday night at the Alberta Film and Television Awards.

The industry’s best and brightest gathered at the Hyatt Regency in downtown Calgary, marking the first time in 10 years that the 38-year-old “Rosies” were handed out here rather than Edmonton.

AMC western Hell on Wheels, now shooting its second season in and around Calgary, picked up a big win for best dramatic series, edging out Blackstone, E-Town, Caution: May Contain Nuts and Heartland.

“This is our first dramatic TV series,” said Hell on Wheels producer Chad Oakes, of Calgary-based Nomadic Pictures. “So to be nominated and to win is fantastic. We had 3.2 million (watching) a week. Our job now is to match it or better it.”

Duncan Ollerenshaw, the Calgary actor who plays railway worker Mr. Toole on the acclaimed show, picked up the win for best performance by an Alberta actor, defeating Patrick Creery of Hardwood, Christoff Lundgren of Rabbit Food, Nathaniel Arcand of Blackstone, Shaun Johnston of Heartland and Gerald Auger, also of Hell on Wheels. Ollerenshaw thanked the makeup department for dirtying up his look on the show.

“They really did make me look worse than I ever thought I could look,” he said with a laugh. “A few years ago, my girlfriend said, ‘Why don’t you just get a television series?’ I said, ‘I don’t think that will happen. My teeth are too crooked.’ I get Hell on Wheels, not only do they love my crooked teeth but they make them even worse.”

Calgary actress Michelle Thrush, who won a Gemini for her role as alcoholic grieving mother Gail Stoney in the Edmonton-shot Blackstone, took the best actress prize over Edna Rain in Just Cause: Police Interaction, Mandy Stobo from Not Far from the Abattoir, Pattie Dwyer of Awaken, Roseanne Supernault of Blackstone and Aimee Beaudoin of CAUTION: May Contain Nuts.

“I’ve always been taught by the elders that our stories are contained within the land and our songs are contained within the Earth,” Thrush told the audience Saturday night. “Every single time that Alberta makes another film, we’re waking up those stories. I’m very honoured to be among that group of storytellers.”

Meanwhile, Lloyd the Conqueror, a Calgary-shot comedy about the strange world of live action role-playing (LARPing), took home hardware for best dramatic feature, besting The Burlesque Assassins, Love/Hate, There by Grace and Below Zero. The comedy also took the win for best score for Donovan Seidle and Dave Pierce.

Hannah’s Law, also produced by Nomadic Pictures, took home the prize best made-for-TV movie or miniseries. The Calgary-based production company produced all three of the made-for-TV films in the running.

The locally shot Heartland, which was up for 10 awards, picked up a win for director Dean Bennett. The Burlesque Assassins, a indie feature that has yet to screen, was up for 10 awards. It picked up a win for Brett Manyluk as best cinematographer for a drama over 30 minutes.

The Oscar-nominated animated short Wild Life, by Calgary filmmakers Wendy Tilby and Amanda Forbis, continued its winning ways with the prize for best short and best overall sound. Tilby and Forbis also won for best animators. Edmonton wasn’t completely shut out. The Perfect Runner, by Edmonton filmmaker Niobe Thompson, won for best documentary, best director, best screenplay (non-fiction), best editing and best cinematographer (non-fiction). The critically acclaimed Blackstone also picked up a win for series creator Ron E. Scott in screenwriting and was given the award for best production reflecting cultural diversity.

CAUTION: May Contain Nuts, which had the most nominations at 12, picked up wins in production design, editing and makeup.

Meanwhile, Premier Alison Redford presented former premier Peter Lougheed and his wife Jeanne an Award of Distinction for their long service to film and the arts in Alberta. Redford paid tribute to the premier with a stirring speech, crediting both him and his wife for helping usher in a new era for not only Alberta film and TV, but arts in general.

Loughheed, now 83, credited his wife with convincing him that Alberta needed a ministry for culture.

William F. White’s Paul Roscorla and Paul Bronfman were given the Friend of the Industry Award.

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Stuart Gradon, Calgary Herald Former Alberta premier Peter Lougheed credited his wife, Jeane, with convincing him that Alberta needed a ministry for culture, after receiving a lifetime achievement award from Premier Alison Redford at the Rosies on Saturday.

Photograph by: Stuart Gradon, Calgary Herald

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