AML AMEEN, RONNIE ROWE JR. AND MOUNA TRAORÉ SET TO CO-STAR IN NEW CBC AND BET+ ORIGINAL SERIES ‘THE PORTER’
April 8, 2021 - The first round of casting for CBC and BET+ original series THE PORTER (working title, 8x60) has been confirmed, with Aml Ameen (I May Destroy You, Yardie), Ronnie Rowe Jr. (Star Trek: Discovery, Pretty Hard Cases) and Mouna Traoré (Self Made, The Umbrella Academy) to co-star in the 1920s drama. With the series set to start production in Winnipeg, Manitoba later this spring, more additions to the cast will be announced in the coming weeks.
left to right: Aml Ameen, Mouna Traoré and Ronnie Rowe Jr.
Inspired by real events and set in the roar of the 1920s, THE PORTER follows the journeys of an ensemble of characters who hustle, dream, cross borders and pursue their ambitions in the fight for liberation - on and off the railways that crossed North America. It is a gripping story of empowerment and idealism that highlights the moment when railway workers from both Canada and the United States joined together to give birth to the world’s first Black union.
Ameen will portray ‘Junior Massey,’ an intelligent, smooth, ambitious and fearless risk taker and war veteran employed as a porter with the Transcontinental Railroad; alongside Rowe Jr. as fellow porter ‘Zeke Garrett,’ Junior’s friend and war buddy, who is calm, thoughtful and persistent to a fault in his fight for integration. Traoré will play ‘Marlene Massey,’ Junior’s wife who works with the Black Cross Nurses, an offshoot of Marcus Garvey’s Universal Negro Improvement Association, risking resources and reputation to help her community and reach her full potential.
Set primarily in Montreal, Chicago and Detroit as the world rebuilds after the First World War, THE PORTER depicts the Black community in St. Antoine, Montreal - known, at the time, as the “Harlem of the North.” They’re young, gifted and Black, from Canada, the Caribbean, and the U.S. via the Underground Railroad and through the Great Migration, and they find themselves thrown together north and south of the color line, in an era that boasts anything is possible - but if change isn’t coming for them, they will come for it. By any means necessary.
A CBC and BET+ original series, THE PORTER is originated and created by Arnold Pinnock (Altered Carbon, Travelers) and Bruce Ramsay (19-2, Cardinal), with Annmarie Morais (Killjoys, Ransom, American Soul), Marsha Greene (Private Eyes, Ten Days In The Valley, Mary Kills People and Aubrey Nealon (Snowpiercer, Cardinal), and produced by Winnipeg-based Inferno Pictures Inc. and Sphere Media’s Sienna Films. Morais and Greene are showrunners and executive producers. Charles Officer (21 Thunder, Ransom, Coroner) and R.T. Thorne (Blindspot, Utopia Falls) will direct the series, and are executive producers. Pinnock and Ramsay are co-executive producers. The series is written by Morais, Greene, Andrew Burrows-Trotman, Priscilla White, Pinnock and Ramsay, with R.T. Thorne participating in the writers’ room. The series is funded with the support of the Canada Media Fund and Manitoba Film & Music and is distributed internationally by Abacus Media Rights (AMR) and Sphere Distribution.
CBC/Radio-Canada is Canada’s national public broadcaster. Through our mandate to inform, enlighten and entertain, we play a central role in strengthening Canadian culture. As Canada’s trusted news source, we offer a uniquely Canadian perspective on news, current affairs and world affairs. Our distinctively homegrown entertainment programming draws audiences from across the country. Deeply rooted in communities, CBC/Radio-Canada offers diverse content in English, French and eight Indigenous languages. We also deliver content in Spanish, Arabic and Chinese, as well as both official languages, through Radio Canada International (RCI). We are leading the transformation to meet the needs of Canadians in a digital world.
BET+ is the premium streaming service for the Black community. With thousands of hours of hit movies, TV shows, stage plays, and more, BET+ offers the best of Black culture, including exclusive originals from leading creators like Tracey Oliver’s First Wives Club, Tyler Perry’s Ruthless and Bruh, Will Packer’s Bigger, Carl Weber’s The Family Business and American Gangster Trap Queens, to name a few. BET+ members can watch as much as they want anytime, anywhere, on any internet-connected screen and always commercial-free. Visit BET.Plus to learn more and follow @BETPlus for the latest news and updates. BET+ is a joint venture between BET and Tyler Perry Studios.
About Inferno Pictures Inc.
Inferno Pictures is based in Winnipeg, Manitoba and led by President Ian Dimerman, who has financed and produced numerous feature films and television movies including Christmas at The Plaza, The Christmas Club, Cinema of Sleep, Fracture, Percy, A Dog's Journey, The Parts You Lose, How It Ends, Journey Back to Christmas, Goon, and Mr. Hockey: the Gordie Howe Story.
About Sienna Films
Led by EP/Producers Jennifer Kawaja and Julia Sereny, Sienna Films is one of Canada’s preeminent scripted content companies, producing film and television internationally since 1992. Their most recent series, Trickster (CBC), was named one of Variety’s top 15 dramas at MIPCOM 2020, and the final season of Cardinal (Bell Media), Season 4, was a continued success internationally including BBC Two, where it aired to critical acclaim and high ratings. In 2020, Sienna Films was acquired by Sphere Media, which specializes in the creation, adaptation, production and distribution of television and film content.
About Abacus Media Rights
Abacus Media Rights (AMR) acquires and distributes a diverse slate of premium, multi-genre programming in the international market. At the same time, the company also works with producers to facilitate pre-sales and development finance as well as broadcaster commissions. Embracing a fully transparent reporting ethos throughout, AMR focuses on building strong client relationships and generating positive solutions at every stage of the process, from initial financing to worldwide broadcast in order to successfully deliver scripted and non-scripted entertainment that counts to a global audience. Abacus Media Rights is financed by the Amcomri Media Group.
Further information: www.abacusmediarights.com
For more information, please contact:
Elizabeth Reid, CBC PR