National Newswatch

TORONTO — Canadian actor-brothers Shamier Anderson and Stephan James are set to develop and produce original television projects for Toronto-based global entertainment company Boat Rocker.

The Toronto stars have struck a first-look deal with Boat Rocker under their Bay Mills Studios banner.

Both already have a relationship with Boat Rocker, with Anderson starring in its upcoming Apple TV Plus series "Invasion" and James in its upcoming show "Beacon 23" for AMC Networks.

The deal further solidifies Anderson and James as major forces in the screen industry, with a slew of marquee projects and the creation of The Black Academy.

Launched last December, the academy is their year-round operation to honour, celebrate and showcase established and emerging Black talent.

The academy is also planning a national awards show to be televised live by the CBC, with the first broadcast set for fall 2022.

The Black Academy is division of the brothers' not-for-profit group B.L.A.C.K. Canada — Building A Legacy in Acting, Cinema + Knowledge — which is known for its gala fundraisers in Toronto.

Anderson's other credits include the Amazon Prime Video sci-fi film "Stowaway" and the boxing drama feature "Bruised," which marks Halle Berry's directorial debut.

James is the Golden Globe-nominated star of the Amazon Prime Video series "Homecoming," with film credits including "If Beale Street Could Talk," "Race" and "Selma."

In a statement Tuesday, the two said they hope their work through Bay Mills Studios will "help shift the cultural paradigm in giving a platform to inspired and underrepresented voices, changing the way we see the world through art."

"We couldn't ask for a better partner in daring to dream as much as we do, all while having the global reach to encourage others to do the same," they added.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 5, 2021.

Victoria Ahearn, The Canadian Press

The Canadian Press
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