​CFC Actors Conservatory Participants & Mentors Announced

By CFC Staff September 24, 2009 01:00


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Toronto, September 23, 2009 – The CFC (Canadian Film Centre) is pleased to announce the eight residents as well as the five accomplished mentors for the inaugural year of the recently launched CFC ACTORS CONSERVATORY, presented by Canwest and supported by the Brian Linehan Charitable Foundation.

The inaugural five-month session, chaired by Emmy and Golden Globe Award-winning actor Kiefer Sutherland, began Monday and is Canada's first in-depth professional level, cross collaborative on-screen training program for actors. All participants in the CFC Actors Conservatory are well established performers in areas of film, television and theatre across Canada and internationally.

The chosen participants are: Sarah Allen, Simon Baker, Zoé Doyle,Jesse Aaron Dwyre, Michelle Giroux, Jean-Michel Le Gal, Abena Malika and Seamus Morrison.

Sarah Allen graduated from the prestigious National Theatre School of Canada and has worked on numerous films and television shows including a lead role in CBC television series Jozi-H. Other credits include a supporting role in the award-winning miniseries Human Trafficking with Donald Sutherland and Mira Sorvino as well as a recurring role on Murdock Mysteries.

Simon Baker began his film career at the age of six as an extra in the film White Fang 2. Baker went on to work in film and television with such notable roles as Charlie Muskrat in North of 60 and Thomas Builds-a-Fire in the award-winning movie Smoke Signals, for which he earned a Best Supporting Actor nomination at the First Americans in the Arts Awards. Other roles include parts in Atom Egoyan's The Sweet Hereafter, Ron Howard's The Missing and Stephen Spielberg's miniseries Into The West.

Zoé Doyle has an extensive list of film and television credits that includes roles in The Front, The Border, Repo Man, Angela's EyesMan Of The Year and Countdown. Her theatre credits include The Sicilian, Autoshow, Inanna and The Crucible.

Jesse Aaron Dwyre has played leading roles is such films as Imitation and Adam's Wall and has performed on stages across Canada including numerous roles at the Stratford Shakespeare Festival. He received a Best Supporting Actor nomination by the Betty Mitchell Awards for his work on Theatre Calgary's Of the Fields, Lately. A graduate of the National Theatre School of Canada, Dwyre trained at The Birmingham Conservatory for Classical Theatre Training in Stratford and L'ecole du Mime in Montreal.

Michelle Giroux has gained great experience performing on stage in and around Canada, completing her ninth season at the Stratford Shakespeare Festival where her selected credits include lead roles in Twelfth Night, A Midsummer Night's Dream and Love's Labour Lost. On Broadway, Giroux played Elise in The Miser. She is a graduate of The National Theatre School of Canada and The Birmingham Conservatory for Classical Theatre Training.

Jean-Michel Le Gal recently appeared in the CFC Short Dramatic Film Shanti Baba Ram And The Dancers Of Hope as the lead, Shanti. He is a graduate of Studio 58 in Vancouver and The Birmingham Conservatory for Classical Theatre Training. Le Gal has performed across Canada, completing four seasons at Stratford where he received the John Hirsh Award for young actor showing the greatest potential. His television credits include Météo+ and Jeremiah, as well as several independent films.

Abena Malika's theatre credits include Mamma Mia, Adventures of a Black Girl in Search of God, Da Kink In My Hair and Steal Away Home. Malika won a 2007 NAACP Theatre Award for her role as Nia inDa Kink In My Hair as part of the ensemble cast, and her portrayal of Ruth Younger in Soulpepper Theatre/Theatre Calgary's co-production of A Raisin in the Sun, garnered Malika a 2009 Dora nomination. Film and television credits include SoulFood: The Series, Starhunter and HBO's Crown Heights. As a singer, Malika has toured extensively backing various artists, most notably James Brown in his final Canadian tour.

Seamus Morrison began his television career at the age of 12 when he was cast in the CBC television series Pit Pony. As a teenager he became part of a three-year summer film workshop ran by Halifax based writer/director Ann Verrall. The workshop ended with the creation of The Wait, which was accepted into the Toronto International Film Festival's Short program. In 2005, Seamus moved to Toronto to study Theatre at York University. His most recent credits include the lead role in the feature film Nonsense Revolution.

The Conservatory is designed to provide the actors with continuous individual mentorship while also learning from the best in the world through master classes and workshops. “We are delighted to have amazing mentors on board to offer the actors inspiration, feedback and counsel throughout the program,” says Kathryn Emslie, Director of CFC Film & TV Programs. “We will be announcing additional mentors, workshop leaders and guests over the coming months as we consider the individual needs of our eight actors and how best to support their talent.”

Mentors include CFC alumna Sarah Polley ('01), Filmmaker in Residence (Away From Her), Susan Coyne, Actor in Residence (Slings & Arrows), Marissa Richmond, Casting Director in Residence (Flashpoint, Durham County), Jason Knight, Casting Director in Residence (Away From Her, Year Of The Carnivore) and Maureen Dorey, Story Editor in Residence (Amal, Nurse.Fighter.Boy). The Conservatory also benefits from additional support and counsel from its Advisory Committee consisting of Risa Bramon Garcia, Colm FeoreKish Iqbal, Rosemary Dunsmore and Martha Henry.

CFC Actors Conservatory is designed to inspire actors and enhance their artistic and technical skills in film and television with hopes to expand their creative and business relationships. It will encourage them to push boundaries in order to be launched as confident, compelling performers. For more about the program, mentors and residents please visit www.cfccreates.com/actors.

About Canwest Broadcasting

Canwest Broadcasting operates Global Television and eighteen of the country's most popular specialty channels, including HGTV, Mystery TV, National Geographic Channel, Showcase, History Television, Food Network and TVtropolis. Canwest Broadcasting is a division of Canwest Media Inc.

About Canwest Media Inc.
Canwest Media Inc is a subsidiary of Canwest Global Communications Corp.(http://www.canwest.com/; TSX: CGS and CGS.A). An international media company, Canwest is Canada's largest publisher of paid English language daily newspapers and owns, operates and/or holds substantial interests in conventional television, out-of-home advertising, specialty cable channels and web sites in Canada, New Zealand, Australia, Indonesia, Singapore, the United Kingdom and the United States.

About The Brian Linehan Charitable Foundation
The Brian Linehan Charitable Foundation was established from the proceeds of the Estate of the late Brian Linehan, one of Canada's great journalists and on-air interviewers. Brian left his entire Estate for the purpose of creating a Star system in Canada including training, providing work opportunities and promoting young Canadians of exceptional talent. To date, its range of activities have included support for various programs at NSI, scholarships at Humber College, support of the Soulpepper Academy, the Company Theatre, The Toronto International Film Festival Group (TIFFG) and the Canadian Film Centre.