As part of Black History Month, the MFL is hosting an online panel discussion with Arnold Pinnock, Marsha Greene and Ian Dimerman, three of the creatives behind the new CBC and BET+ original series The Porter. Joining them will be Saje Mathieu author of North of the Colour Line and Cecil Foster author of They Call Me George: The Untold Story of Black Train Porters and the Birth of Modern Canada. Mathieu and Foster also consult on the drama series.
Set in the roar of the 1920s and inspired by real events, The Porter follows the journeys of four ambitious souls who hustle, dream, cross borders and confront barriers in the fight for liberation, telling a gripping story of empowerment and idealism that highlights the moment when railway workers from Canada and the United States joined together to give birth to the world’s first Black union.
The Porter begins filming in Winnipeg this spring, and the location choice is no accident. Winnipeg was the first Canadian city to have a black railway workers' union in 1917 - the Order of Sleeping Car Porters. In 1919, the Order of Sleeping Car Porters joined with 30,000 other workers in the Winnipeg General Strike, later merging with the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters.
Produced by Winnipeg-based Inferno Pictures Inc. and Sphere Media’s Sienna Films, 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). Morais and Greene are showrunners on the eight-part series, and Charles Officer (21 Thunder, Ransom, Coroner) and R.T. Thorne (Blindspot, Utopia Falls) are executive producers and directors. Pinnock and Ramsay are co-executive producers.
The series is funded with the support of the Canada Media Fund, Manitoba Film & Music, and The Bell Fund, and is distributed internationally by Abacus Media