By RON FANFAIR
A new eight-part serial drama created by former Share photographer Sudz Sutherland and his wife Jen Holness will launch on October 10 at 9 p.m. on CBC-TV.
‘Shoot the Messenger’ follows a young journalist who, while working on her first murder case, becomes embroiled in a tangled web of urban gangs, police, corporate powerbrokers and politicians.
The cast includes Jamaican-born Lyriq Bent, award-winning actress Alex Kingston, retired professional basketball players Rick Fox and Jamaal Magloire and Ryerson Theatre School graduate Araya Mengesha who is the great grandson of late Ethiopian emperor Haile Selassie and cousin of Canadian director and dramaturge Weyni Mengesha.
The couple conceived the story idea a few years ago.
“Inspired by crime stories in Toronto and Montreal, we thought it would make good territory for a dramatic series since journalists are actually becoming more front and center of these stories,” Sutherland said.
He said the idea was originally pitched as a movie.
“We had a lot of material and when CBC came back to us and asked if we could turn it into a series, we were only too happy to do so,” he added.
Holness said they are extremely excited about their new project.
“We are trying to craft something that can draw an audience and maintain interest,” she said. “We also want to create characters that are lasting while making it sexy, fun and visually arresting. We are getting to the place where we want to be which is making great film and television content.”
The 2010 Caribbean Tales Cultural Entrepreneurs of the Year Award winners, Sutherland and Holness produced ‘Home Alone’, a dramatic feature film about three adults deported to the land of their birth after spending significant time in foreign countries and wrote the epic CBC prime time series, ‘Guns’, which portrays the randomness of gun violence in the city.
Their other credits include their breakthrough film, ‘Love, Sex and Eating the Bones’, which won the Best Canadian First Feature Prize at the 2003 Toronto International Film Festival and the short films, ‘My Father’s Hands and AfricVille’. They also teamed up with documentary filmmaker, Min Sook Lee, to create ‘She’s the Mayor’ for Vision TV.