New CTV Movie in Production: To Serve and Protect: Tragedy at Mayorthorpe (Working Title)

Production Begins on CTV Original Movie To Serve and Protect: Tragedy at Mayerthorpe (Working Title)

– Henry Czerny and Brian Markinson star in two-hour telefilm –

Production will begin next week on a CTV original movie based on the circumstances leading up to the tragic deaths of four RCMP officers in Mayerthorpe, AB, it was announced today by CTV in association with SEVEN24 Films (Formerly Alberta Filmworks Inc.) and Slanted Wheel Entertainment. To Serve and Protect: Tragedy at Mayerthorpe (working title) is based on the tragic events of March 3, 2005 that made national headlines and led to the RCMP’s greatest loss of life in a single day in over 100 years.

Produced with the cooperation of the surviving families of the tragedy, the film will undergo production in Calgary and the southern Alberta towns of Irricana and in and around Cochrane beginning March 8 through April 3. To Serve and Protect: Tragedy at Mayerthorpe stars Henry Czerny (The Tudors,Pink Panther, Clear and Present Danger) and Brian Markinson (Charlie Wilson’s War, Eight Days to Live, Angels in America).

To Serve and Protect: Tragedy at Mayerthorpe recounts the events of that day two years ago when four RCMP officers were ambushed and gunned down by a heavily-armed, habitual criminal named James Roszko (Markinson) on his farm near Mayerthorpe, Alberta. As an angry nation mourned, a picture began to emerge of a terrorized community and an RCMP force frustrated in its attempts to bring Roszko to justice. In the movie, Czerny plays a fictional character named Corporal Alex Stuart that is the protagonist of the story.

“We want to tell this story in honour of the four men who gave their lives in the line of duty,” said Executive Producer Jon Slan. “The creative team engaged in an extensive consultation process with the families of the slain officers and the RCMP, to ensure the accuracy of the story.”

“Having the input of the families in undertaking this project was paramount and we couldn’t have gone forward without their confidence in us,” added Executive Producer Jordy Randall.

“We are committed to presenting an honest portrayal of the incident at Mayerthorpe with the hope of furthering discussion about the events that led to this tragedy,” said Susanne Boyce, CTV’s President of Programming and Chair of the CTV Media Group.

To Serve and Protect: Tragedy at Mayerthorpe is executive produced by Tom Cox (Brokeback Mountain, The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford) and Jon Slan (Wyatt Earp, Kissinger & Nixon). Executive Producer/Producer is Jordy Randall (Brokeback Mountain, The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford) and Rachel Rafelman (Plague City:SARS in Toronto, Alice I Think) is co-executive producer. The screenplay is written by Andrew Wreggitt (Shades of Black, One Dead Indian) and will be directed by Ken Girotti (3 Lbs, 24).

Director of Photography is Michael Storey, (Tagged: The Jonathan Wamback Story, Murder in the Hamptons) and John Blackie (Friend of the Family, Agent of Influence) is the production designer. Kathleen Meek is CTV’s production executive overseeing the movie. Tecca Crosby is Acting Senior Vice-President, Dramatic Programming for CTV. Susanne Boyce is President of Programming and Chair of the CTV Media Group.

To Serve and Protect: Tragedy at Mayerthorpe is developed and produced by SEVEN24 Films and Slanted Wheel Entertainment in association with CTV. It is produced with the participation of the Canadian Television Fund, created by the Government of Canada and the Canadian Cable Industry, the COGECO Program Development Fund, the Canadian Film or Video Production Tax Credit, the Ontario Film & Television Tax Credits and Government of Alberta, Alberta Film Development Program.

SEVEN24 Films (formerly Alberta Filmworks Inc.) is an independent Canadian film and television production company based in Calgary. In its 20 year history, the company has produced over 160 hours of high quality, prime time dramatic programming. SEVEN24 Films’ movies and series have been broadcast and distributed throughout the world, and have garnered over 100 Canadian and international nominations and awards.

Slanted Wheel Entertainment is an innovative film and television company dedicated to the acquisition and adaptation of literary properties and original published works for the big and small screen. In the four years of its existence, the company has accumulated an impressive list of film and television productions, including the multi-award-winning MOW Plague City: SARS in Toronto, and the half-hour comedy series Alice, I Think. Slanted Wheel has several feature films scheduled for production in 2007 as well as television series and movies in development.

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    Roszko bothered me and my children back in 1989 -in Vancouver. We had just settled nicely into a new neighbourhood, and new school, daycare and employment. Newly on my own with two beautiful children. He was this pushy stranger that crossed our path on our way home from the bus stop. He appeared on the sidewalk and tried to get our names, my son was around 7 and his lttle sister almost three, he kept walking beside us trying to get us to reply, we were not interested in this stranger who was right away demanding in his attempts to know us. We tried to cordially be kind and walk past and faster then he, yet he continued to follow us making me incredibly nervous and so I headed onto a busier street instead of home. Eventually we seemed to lose him so two hours later we were again on our way home. In the months that followed we were many times followed and accosted by him at bus stops, grocery stores, children schools, community centre etc. He eventually knew where we resided and would stand yelling at me from the street below -always upset that I would not talk with him…telling me I had no right telling the children not to talk with him. I was so scared that the police became involved. He was a stranger who preyed on us for no reason. The neighbours reported to the police this fellow was harrassing me and those in near by homes reported he was asking everyone who I was and which home and suite I lived in (I lived in a large character home with three suites). I soon became so ill at ease, feeling powerless and always affraid after work and school to be seen going home. When he would encounter us I’d walk with my children for hours fighting tears and trying to be strong- while not being able to go home. I experienced something close to a breakdown. I tried nicely to tell him not to take it personal, but please just leave us alone he then became angry and more bothersome – always scared and trying to take care, my days begun at 6am so, by 7- 8pm I was needing to be at home.
    The police were instrumental in my relocating into a nearby city and finding a different home. My children changed schools and daycare and I soon after located new employment. 18 years have now passed yet the fear is as real as yesteryear. The stranger who caused fear, breakdown and an assertive – serious personality.