The Aboriginal Peoples Television Network (APTN), the Canadian-based cable channel dedicated exclusively to First Nations and indigenous-based content, has announced they are launching a U.S. based All Nations Network (ANN.)
According to the APTN news release, “The U.S. ANN will be the first network to bring both native and non-native audiences in the U.S. a 24-hour network providing native news, sports, scripted, lifestyle, feature-length movies and children's programming written, produced, and directed by Native Americans, among others.”
ANN has already received endorsements in the midst of a lack of diversity controversy in Hollywood. The endorsements are from such individuals as actor and producer Robert Redford, Oscar nominated actor Graham Greene (Dances With Wolves), Robbie Robertson (The Band) and acclaimed director Jim Jarmusch.
"There is demand for a national Native network across the country," said award-winning filmmaker Jim Jarmusch in the release. "A vibrant new generation, a golden era of Native film-makers and artists will be born and have a dedicated channel through which to express their voices. There is a market that is waiting. There is an audience that is waiting. The time is now."
"We think the time is right for Native Americans to have their own channel and are happy to see the positive discussions Castalia has had with major US Pay TV operators," says Jean La Rose, APTN's Chief Executive Officer.
"Our experience in Canada has been one of creating and providing opportunities for our producers, for our storytellers, to tell our stories, in our words, to our Peoples and to the world. Native American producers are poised and eager to have the same opportunities and we believe that we can work together to provide a unique window into the lives -- past, present and future -- of this community."
Currently, the headquarters is slotted to be in New Mexico under the guidance of Native American filmmaker Chris Eyre (Smoke Signals and NBC's "Friday Night Lights"). Eyre, a Sundance Film Festival and Director's Guild of America award-winner, will be working closely with APTN Execs for the All Nations Network launch.
"In 2016, it is essential that progressive portrayals of Native Americans be available to all cable and satellite subscribers through the efforts of ANN's mission to provide a 24/7 channel for true Native American content of all kind. It's not an abstract and this channel is long overdue," said Eyre in the release.
“For more than 15 years, APTN's award-winning programming in Canada has reached a staggering 92% of Canadian households and commercial establishments, and has strong traction with both First Nations, Métis and Inuit Peoples and non-Aboriginal communities. Over 80% of Aboriginal men and women in Canada find content on APTN a source of pride. ANN will provide an opportunity to bring reflective, contemporary, compelling, and original content to consumers of all cultures in the U.S.,” said the release.