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SFU celebrates Canadian actor Graham Greene

June 26, 2008

SFU’s Praxis Centre for Screenwriters celebrated the career of one of North America’s best-known aboriginal actors June 25 in the Fletcher Challenge theatre at the Vancouver campus.

Graham Greene, the Oscar-nominated Canadian star of Dances with Wolves and other blockbusters such as Transamerica, Die Hard with a Vengeance and The Green Mile, reflected on his path to success and the challenges still ahead for First Nations artists.

The evening, sponsored by SFU Contemporary Arts and City TV, was moderated by Vancouver actor/filmmaker Tantoo Cardinal, who played Greene’s wife in Dances with Wolves, and television producer/screenwriter and Praxis Fellow Tihemme Gagnon.

Greene is in town to serve as an advisor and actor in a new screenplay that is part of the Praxis summer reading workshop, June 24-26. He is one of more than 50 professional actors performing private readings of six of the best screenplays selected from two national competitions sponsored by Praxis in 2007.

Workshop participants also benefitted from the guidance of industry advisors Michael Miner (co-writer, Robocop); Peter Behrens (Governor General winner, Law of Dreams); Sharon Riis (writer, Loyalties); and Blake Corbett and Andrew Currie (producer & director of Fido).

Praxis director Patricia Gruben says the centre was delighted to welcome Greene, an Oneida born in Ohsweken on the Six Nations Reserve in Ontario.

She adds, "We look forward to many more of these sorts of high-profile public events when SFU’s School for the Contemporary Arts moves downtown to the Woodward’s site in late 2009." By Julie Ovenell-Carter