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APTN's Rez Drama Blackstone Returns

Blackstone, one of the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network’s (APTN) most popular and top-rated television programs, will kick off its second season on Wednesday, January 11, 2012.

This original Canadian drama boasts an all-star cast made up of a veritable who’s who of First Nations actors including Eric Schweig, Gemini Award winner Michelle Thrush and Gemini nominee Carmen Moore. Other First Nations actors include Nathaniel Arcand, Roseanne Supernault, Steven Cree Molison, Andrea Menard, Justin Rain and Ashley Callingbull.

Joining the series are acclaimed First Nations actors Tantoo Cardinal and Gary Farmer of the cult-classic Smoke Signals, Georgina Lightning and Michelle Latimer, as well as Cameron Bancroft, Frank Cassini, Vincent Gale and Lori Triolo.

Blackstone is about the real-world struggles faced by the fictional Blackstone First Nation, and the first episode of season two will pick up where season one's cliffhanger ending left off. Topics that have been tackled by Blackstone include foster care, toxic water and the fight of indigenous people seeking the betterment of their community.

The show is written, directed and produced by Ron E. Scott of Edmonton’s Prairie Dog Film + Television, along with producer Jesse Szymanski, producer/writer Damon Vignale and writers Gil Cardinal and Penny Gummerson. It has achieved a high level of success because, according to Scott, “Blackstone gets under your skin; it makes you think, feel and want more.”

Scott certainly has been doing something right, as the first season of Blackstone reaped two Gemini Awards, two 2011 Leo Awards and three 2011 Alberta Film and Television Awards. Season 1 of Blackstone currently broadcasts in Canada on APTN, and in New Zealand on Maori Television. The series is distributed internationally by PPI Releasing.

“I am humbled to have this opportunity to be involved in a show that has reached into lives and has spoken into subjects that have not been presented on Canadian television,” says Scott.

September 1, 2011 marked the 12-year anniversary of the launch of APTN, the first national Aboriginal television network in the world with programming by, for and about Aboriginal Peoples to share with all Canadians and viewers around the world. APTN is available to approximately 10 million Canadian households and commercial establishments.