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Arts

Universal Pictures to release #Yeg produced Doc, Inmate #1: The Rise of Danny Trejo

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12 minute read

Adam Scorgie (39), is a self-described, “producer, creative hustler, indie filmmaker”. In his movie and TV career that has spanned almost two decades now, he has also been, a voice, dancer, movie and soap opera actor, line-writer, fundraiser, production manager, co-producer, producer, executive producer, equipment sherpa, camera operator, husband, father and more.

While having a tireless, relentless work ethic, believing in himself, his team and taking big chances, is nothing new for Scorgie, the owner multi-award-winning, Edmonton based Score G Productions. He is not one to get too far ahead of what might be in his next professional script.

Adam Scorgie and Danny Trejo

Will Universal Pictures’ world-wide release of Inmate #1: The Rise of Danny Trejo, be the Alberta film producer’s big break-out film?

Scorgie, sported a big smile while contemplating his response to being asked if the deal with one of the “big six” Hollywood studios will make him an overnight success? The already, highly acclaimed documentary film maker, energetically deflected, “I am just honoured to have contributed to and be part of a great team.” One of those team members being his long-time collaborators, Vancouver based director, Brett Harvey.

While Scorgie has a two-decade long list of supporters and backers that he does like to thank. Explaining that ‘any success in this business’ is great, he got more serious, “It isn’t about any one production, over another, my proudest accomplishment is my family.” Lead by his wife and mother of three children, Lauren Scorgie.

“What are you doing in Edmonton?” That is something Scorgie hears ‘a lot’ of when travelling to different parts of the world while either working on, fundraising, planning or promoting whatever projects he has in the soup.

Mentor Don Metz gives Adam Scorgie a hug

The B.C., born and raised Scorgie use to answer, “Because I had a chance to come to Alberta to work with Aquila Productions, the job that really changed my life and career.” Expanding, “Working and learning with owner, Don Metz along with Michael Bobroff and Gord Redel was essential for me and my team to get stability and to take that next step.” Adding, “Now I just answer, women’s hockey. There is no better city with the supports, teams, coaches, the U of A Pandas’ programs.”

Turns out, Adam is not only headline grabber in the Scorgie family. His now, 13-year-old daughter Riley, scored 50 goals in 19 games when she was just 11. Garnering the young girl local and international coverage of her own. Including, ESPN’s Best Player in the World of the Week award.

It was not the Wayne Gretzky type numbers she posted that got her international media coverage. It was the fact that she so beat the odds by quickly overcoming a rare and debilitating medical emergency. The family was blind-sided when the youngster struck down by Guillain-Barre syndrome. Leaving her unable to walk or stand-up without supports.

The syndrome uses a person’s immune system to attack the nerves. It starts with weakness and tingling in the extremities, that can quickly spread, paralyzing the bodies proper functions.

Riley Scorgie

While Riley continued to go through a battery of tests, the doctors explained to the stunned and distraught parents that all was not lost. They were told she could recover, “It would take time, a lot of care and physiotherapy.” Adding, “She would not be able to play hockey for at least a year.” The pre-teen flat-out rejected that idea.

Showing the Scorgie family fighting spirit. She quickly became like one of her dad’s featured documentary subjects. Working through treatments as hard as she could to get back. Her dad explained it didn’t stop there, “Holding the rail, she started slowly taking stairs one at a time. Soon, she would then go up and down the stairs without using the railing to try to get her legs working, her balance and back.”

To everyone’s surprise, even while still experiencing weakness and balance issues, she was back on her skates within weeks. The budding star made a team on the last day of try-out and the rest of her scoring feat is history.

Proud papa explains, “We were just glad to see her walk again, in a way this has been a blessing for her. She learned at a young age that nothing you want in life is achieved easily. You hit roadblocks and you have to work through them.” Continuing, “When I talk at panels, I always say that there are no over-night successes. It is a long road, it is a lot of hard work, with roadblocks, disappointments and that you have to take a lot of chances.”

Rejections is another tip Scorgie shares during industry Q&A’s, “Our movies have been commercially successful, but I’ve lost count of how many Film Festivals we have been turned down by every year. I tell everyone to never give up.”

His team’s long list of rejections to be shown at international film festivals include, Inmate #1; The Rise of Danny Trejo.

One of Danny Trejo’s most memorable characters, Isador Cortez, better known as Machete

Scorgie explains why this release announcement is such a big deal for any full-length documentary maker, “In its 108-year history, Universal Pictures has only released 70 documentaries like this (world-wide).” Happily adding, “The official Universal Pictures trailer, has already had over a million views.”

For those movie fans that like to look for local landmarks, you will have to know what the inside of the old Remand Centre (closed April 2013) and the Panther Gym look like, “Danny came to Edmonton, some boxing shots that made the cut, where in Panthers gym.” Adding, “All of the sit-down prison interviews with Danny are from the old Remand Centre.”  Lots of love for Alberta, the staff was awesome, love the blue-collar approach from the Alberta film industry, the minimal egos and continued support, is why I continue to produce out of Edmonton.”

Movie fans might see something they know, the inside of the old Remand Centre and the Panther Gym where scenes were filmed.

So, what’s next for the Score G Productions team? “We have a documentary on UFC Hall of Famer, Michael Bisping in post-production.” Scorgie said adding, “Plus we have docs on Arturo Gatti and Roy Jones Jr. in production.”

Scorgie asked to add one last important shout out for a long-time supporter and to also add a tip for Canadian TV audiences, “I wouldn’t have a career and our production team wouldn’t be successful without Super Channel’s amazing support over the years. Super Channel is key for indie Canadian filmmakers and support better than ANY other network in Canada PERIOD!” Adding for those that want to watch the film early, “I highly recommend Canadians support local and subscribe to Super Channel. A bonus is that it’s the only place in the world where you can currently watch or stream Inmate #1; The Rise of Danny Trejo.”

Synopsis.  Inmate #1; The Rise of Danny Synopsis

The Trejo documentary features the radical ups-and-downs this amazing and tirless 75-year-old. The film takes the audience through the life of one of the scarcest looking bad guys in the history of cinema. Weaving through never-before-seen visuals and personal testimony and stories from Danny, his closest family, friends, movie stars and producers. The movie shows how the LA born Trejo goes from a life of drugs, armed robbery, hard prison time, overcome his demons, becoming a champion boxer in San Quentin, through to the red carpets of some of his 400+ Hollywood credits, to helping troubled addicts, a successful business owner and community leader. For over 50 years of sobriety, Trejo’s personal mission and debt to society is to pay it forward and give back to his community every single day. The Hollywood icon has become a symbol of hope to people around the world.

Other award winning projects Adam Scorgie has worked on

Alberta

Graffiti artist completes world’s tallest mural in downtown Calgary

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CALGARY — It looms on the edge of downtown a stone’s throw from the Calgary Tower,  a splash of colour amid aging buildings, railway tracks, parkades and a steady stream of traffic.

It’s billed as the world’s tallest mural, painted by one of the globe’s top graffiti artists, and is part of a project to turn an austere area of downtown into an expansive open-air urban art gallery.

“The brutalism and dystopian look of this area with the giant parkades and the spiral ramps and stuff — it feels like Gotham. So turning this wall from concrete nothing to this is really fun,” said Peter Oliver, president of the Beltline Urban Murals Project, or BUMP.

The mural is an abstract painting in various shades of orange, black, grey, blue, white and yellow and is the creation of DAIM, an internationally renowned German artist. DAIM, whose real name is Mirko Reisser, has been creating public artworks for more than 30 years.

“DAIM’s work is rooted in graffiti art. It’s abstract and he was actually the very first graffiti artist to start exploring three-dimensional works. So his work kind of obeys the laws of light and shadow but defies the laws of gravity,” Oliver said.

“I think his work really marries well with the brutalism of this building and it’s just a massive flat wall of concrete. It’s the very first prefabricated concrete building in Calgary, built in 1980.”

The mural is 95 metres high, making it the tallest mural in the world “by a long shot,” said Oliver.

He said most cities don’t have giant concrete walls available, with the majority being glass, steel or aluminum. So this was a perfect marriage.

DAIM, who was assisted by three local artists, spent over three weeks painting and went through more than 500 cans of spray paint after a base coat was added to the bare concrete. It is to be a permanent addition to the area and, as of last week, was awaiting a coat of UV sealant to make it complete.

Facing toward the east, it can be seen from a long way away.

“If you’ve got the window seat on the airplane, you can see it on the approach into the airport,” Oliver said.

“I think what we’re really doing with BUMP is re-architecting the identity of this city.”

The project will be unveiling about 60 new murals during its annual festival, which runs from Aug. 1 to 28. Before that, the new art work can be viewed by visitors at the annual Calgary Stampede, which begins this week.

“If you’re coming down, I’d check this out over the parade any day,” Oliver said with a chuckle.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 4, 2022.

Bill Graveland, The Canadian Press

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Alberta

Alberta’s 2022 Lt. Governor Emerging Artists Named

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Alberta’s 2022 Lt. Governor Emerging Artists Named

The Lieutenant Governor of Alberta Arts Awards Foundation announces awards totaling $110,000 to the 11 recipients of its 2022 Emerging Artist Award.

“When economic times are tough, our artists are particularly vulnerable,” says Foundation Chair, Arlene Strom. “We are thrilled to invest $110,000 this year in advancing the careers of these outstanding artists at the early stages of their professional development.”

2022 Emerging Artist Recipients:

Perpetual Atife Saxophone, Calgary

Vicki Chau Filmmaker, Calgary

Arlan Vriens Violin, Edmonton; Toronto

Eden Tremayne Soprano, Calgary

Omar Mouallem Writer, Edmonton

Trina Moyles Writer, Peace River

Kiona Ligtvoet Visual Arts, Edmonton

Tenaj Williams Actor, Calgary

Ally McIntyre Visual Arts, Edmonton

Moni Brar Writer/Poet, Calgary

Nahanni McKay Visual Arts, Banff

The Award’s patron, Her Honour, the Honourable Salma Lakhani, Lieutenant Governor of Alberta AOE, B.Sc., LLD (hon) awarded the 2022 Emerging Artists at a celebration hosted by the County of Lac La Biche and Portage College on June 10, 2022. Each awardee receives a $10,000 cash award, a handcrafted medal and a certificate.

The 11 recipients were selected from 140 applications in an adjudication process overseen by The Banff Centre. The adjudication panel included: Darren Fung, renowned composer based out of Los Angeles, originally from Edmonton; Sean Caulfield, artist and Centennial Professor in the Department of Art & Design at the University of Alberta; Patricia Darbasie, Alberta actor, director and educator; Jenna Butler, 2014 LG Emerging Artist, award-winning author and educator; Derek Beaulieu, Jury Facilitator, Director of Literary Arts at the Banff Centre.

For more information on the awardees visit artsawards.ca

Who are the 2022 Emerging Artists?

Perpetual Atife Saxophonist, Calgary: Perpetual Atife is retelling African stories and music through her practice as a jazz saxophonist and songwriter. Her entrepreneurial spirit and energy are as impressive as her skills as a band leader and performer. The aural tapestry she creates combines her Nigerian roots and the realities she exists in today. Her debut album, a collection of her journey through instrumental music, spoken word and vocal music, is due to be released in the Fall of 2022.

Vicki Chau Filmmaker, Calgary: Vicki Chau is a filmmaker and media artist based in Calgary. Her two short films Pulled Strings and Hearth of the Lion capture a slice of her Chinese-Vietnamese heritage in a beautiful lyrical way. Her family and cultural identity have been a core inspiration in her artistic practice and help her to promote the appreciation of both Chinese and Vietnamese culture through a uniquely Canadian perspective. She was selected for the WarnerMedia Access Festivals Program at Toronto’s Reelworld Film Festival in 2021.

Arlan Vriens, Violin, Edmonton/Toronto: Arlan Vriens is an Edmonton-born classical violinist noted for his ability to evoke strong, emotional performances with difficult, contemporary repertoire that pushes the boundaries of what the instrument was designed to do. Equally at home performing newly-written contemporary works or rediscovering long-lost violin techniques, Arlan is committed to nurturing and critiquing classical music as a living, evolving practice. His chamber music and solo violin projects have been supported by the Canada Council for the Arts and the arts councils of Alberta, Ontario, and Newfoundland.

Eden Tremayne Soprano, Calgary: Eden Tremayne delivers an authenticity and emotional strength that is impressive to see in an emerging opera singer. A soprano with both a strong technical facility and range, she is noted for her stirring performances. For the past three seasons, Ms. Tremayne has been a McPhee Artist with Calgary Opera. She had her Calgary Opera mainstage debut In the 2019-2020 season as Clotilde in Bellini’s Norma and covered Musetta in Puccini’s La bohème. Tremayne was previously featured as an Apprentice Artist with the San Diego Opera and a Yulanda M. Faris Young Artist with Vancouver Opera.

Omar Mouallem Writer, Edmonton: Omar Mouallem has established himself as a talented young journalist and filmmaker to watch. With the arrival of his important new book of non-fiction, Praying to the West: How Muslims Shaped the Americas, he’s an important voice in Canadian literature with a long career ahead. A second-generation Canadian born and raised in Northern Alberta’s Muslim Lebanese community, Mouallem has become known for his ability to intertwine human interest stories with world history and broad social issues. Omar co-authored the national bestseller Inside the Inferno: A Firefighter’s Story of the Brotherhood that Saved Fort McMurray and co-directed Digging in the Dirt (with Dylan Rhys Howard), a raw look at the psychological toll of oil and gas labour.

Trina Moyles Writer, Peace River: Trina Moyles blends journalistic knowledge with literary expertise and a love for the land. She grew up in the northern community of Peace River, Alberta (Treaty 8), where she spent much of her childhood immersed in the boreal forest. Moyles’s first book, Women Who Dig: Farming, Feminism, and the Fight to Feed the World was published in 2018 by the University of Regina Press. Her second book, a memoir and frontline reportage on the increasing prevalence of wildfire in North America, Lookout: Love, Solitude, and Searching for Wildfire in the Boreal Forest, was published in 2021 by Penguin Random House Canada. Lookout won a National Outdoors Book Award in 2021 and has recently been nominated as a finalist for the 2022 Robert Kroetsch City of Edmonton Book Prize and a finalist for the Memoir Award at the 2022 Alberta Literary Awards.

Kiona Ligtvoet Visual Arts, Edmonton: Kiona Ligtvoet looks to experiences with family and the land they live and work on to create paintings, prints and installations that function as both a personal archive, as well as non-linear storytelling. Kiona grew up west of Edmonton near the hamlet of Calahoo where she lived with her moshom and relatives on scrip land. Her family lines are Cree and Métis descending from Michel First Nation, as well as Dutch/ mixed European. Kiona works in painting, printmaking and drawing, recollecting personal stories of grief and tenderness. Most recent exhibitions have been sahkitok mistahi at Ociciwan Contemporary Art Centre (2021), and her solo show, These Are the Things at Latitude 53 (2021). She is currently writing her debut graphic novel We Were Younger Once (2022).

Tenaj Williams Actor, Calgary: Tenaj Williams has built on his community theatre experiences to create a provincial and national footprint as an actor, professionally performing on stages in Alberta and across the country. He has recently branched out into film and television landing roles on various TV series, most prominently the hit CTV comedy show, JANN. Tenaj hopes to further advance his work in the arts and be instrumental in helping to create and foster safe, and brave spaces for diverse and emerging artists. He plans to develop his skills as a director and learn more about theatre production and management.

Ally McIntyre Visual Arts, Edmonton: Ally McIntyre creates bold, powerful paintings that combine passages of abstraction with naturalistic imagery, and which contain moments of aggressive and expressive mark-making, alongside more introspective, sensitive passages of drawing. This blending of visual languages results in highly compelling imagery that fosters unexpected narratives and poetic associations for viewers. Bold and assertive, her works question the prevailing gendered association of large-scale art and expressionism. In 2015, McIntyre was awarded the HIX Award 2015 presented by Tracey Emin and the Jealous Prize 2015. Exhibits include various galleries in London, UK, The Original Print Fair at the Royal Academy, The London Art Fair, Start Art Fair and Art Toronto. She was a finalist in the RBC national painting competition (2018). Her solo exhibition ‘Dog Day Circus’ was featured at the Saatchi Gallery in London, UK (2022). Her work can be found in private collections in Australia, Asia, Europe, and North America.


Moni Brar Writer/Poet, Calgary: 
Moni Brar has published in many of the most respected journals in Canada and received a number of the top writing awards. A Punjabi Canadian writer exploring diasporan guilt and intergenerational trauma, she is poised to make major contributions to the literary arts in Canada. She has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and multiple Best of the Net awards and was the winner of the SAAG Arts Writing Prize, runner-up in PRISM international’s Grouse Grind Prize, honourable mention in Room magazine’s Poetry Prize, and a finalist in the Alberta Magazine Awards and the Subnivean Awards. Her work can be found in Best Canadian Poetry 2022, the Literary Review of Canada, Passages North, Prairie Fire, Hobart, and the League of Canadian Poets’ “Poem in Your Pocket” postcard series.


Nahanni McKay Visual Arts, Banff: 
McKay’s creative practice utilizes photography, digital media, as well as performances in the landscape to explore pressing questions related to environmental change. The work often considers the ways landscape and animals have been depicted historically, particularly in the context of national parks, in order to investigate the complex interrelationship between colonial power structures, identity and ecological degradation and loss. Nahanni uses her photography to bring awareness of the need to coexist with wildlife to prevent further harm to the land we reside on. Exhibits include Personal Structures Exhibition, European Cultural Centre, Venice, Italy (2022), Loop 14, Alberta Foundation for the Arts Travelling Exhibition (2020), EXPOSURE Photography Festival Emerging Artists Showcase, Contemporary Calgary and more.

About The Awards

Founders Fil Fraser, Tommy Banks, John Poole and Jenny Belzberg established the Lieutenant Governor of Alberta Arts Awards Foundation in 2003 to celebrate and promote excellence in the arts. The endowments they established were created with philanthropic dollars and gifts from the Province of Alberta and the Government of Canada. Since its inception in 2003, the Foundation has awarded $1,430,000 to 23 Distinguished Artists and 74 Emerging Artists, all Alberta affiliated. The Foundation administers two awards programs: The Emerging Artist Awards program, established in 2008, gives up to 10 awards of $10,000 each to support and encourage promising artists early in their professional careers. Emerging Artist Awards are given out in even years. The Distinguished Artist Awards program, begun in 2005, gives up to three awards of $30,000 each in recognition of outstanding achievement in, or contribution to, the arts in Alberta. Distinguished Artist Awards are given in odd years.

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