April 29, 2009
FREDERICTON (CNB) - An international jury has selected the New Brunswick television production Sticks and Stones as one of four finalists for the prestigious Shaw Rocket Prize. The winner will be announced on Wednesday, May 6, in Toronto.
"I am proud to see a New Brunswick production being rightfully acknowledged for its excellence on the international stage by a panel of industry experts," said Wellness, Culture and Sport Minister Hédard Albert. "Sticks and Stones embodies the creativity, inspiration, innovation and high production values that are the recipe for industry leadership."
Sticks and Stones is a television movie based on the true story of an American peewee hockey team that encountered discrimination while in Canada to play in a tournament; the team vowed never to return. It focuses on a 13-year-old New Brunswick boy and his stubborn determination to convince the Americans that the values they shared with Canadians were stronger than their political differences. The Americans finally accepted his invitation to participate in a Friendship Game in Fredericton.
Sticks and Stones was produced by Moncton-based Dream Street Pictures Inc. and Montreal-based Cirrus Communications Inc., with producers Timothy M. Hogan, Rick LeGuerrier, Josée Vallée, André Béraud and Richard Speer.
"It was an honour for us, as New Brunswick producers, to bring such an inspirational local true story such as Sticks and Stones to audiences in Canada and around the world," said Hogan. "We are proud that the hard work of the cast and crew and the generosity shown by New Brunswickers during the retelling of the event have received recognition by millions of viewers from across our country and is now starting to see success and accolades from around the world. We are thrilled to be a finalist for this award."
In 2008, Sticks and Stones won Best Foreign Feature Drama at the International Family Film Festival in Los Angeles. The production has received Gemini and CFTPA Indie Award nominations.
The Shaw Rocket Prize is a single, winner-take-all $50,000 prize awarded annually in recognition of the best independent Canadian children's youth or family television program. The finalists are selected by an international jury. The winner is determined by students from the Royal Conservatory of Music's Innovative Learning Through The Arts program.
Under the program, incorporated as part of the classroom curriculum, more than 800 students in grades 6, 7 and 8 from across Canada will participate in discussion, evaluation and selection of a winner from the finalists.
The Shaw Rocket Prize was established in 2005. It is open to independent, Canadian producers of children's, youth and family programming. Entering its fifth year, the prize is designed to fuel the children's production industry by supporting and celebrating the best of Canadian television programming for children.
More information about the prize and the finalists is available at www.rocketprize.ca.
MEDIA CONTACT: Danielle Phillips, communications, Department of Wellness, Culture and Sport, 506-457-6445.