November 14, 2012

Western Swagger documentary premieres on Thursday night

Director Barry Greenwald recounts the story of a team that united a province as its economy entered a dangerous tailspin in WESTERN SWAGGER, premiering Thursday, Nov. 15 at 7:30 p.m. ET on TSN.

In the late 1970s, Alberta solidified itself as Canada’s energy superpower with the discovery of oil. This all came crashing down in 1981 as a result of the National Energy Program. Throughout all the economic hardships, one thing remained the same – the Edmonton Eskimos were a winning team, with an unprecedented five consecutive Grey Cup titles from 1978 to 1982.

As former Eskimo and Alberta Premier Peter Lougheed battled Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau over the National Energy Program in the boardroom, the Eskimos dominated on the field, giving Albertans something to cheer about.

WESTERN SWAGGER displays Alberta’s unwavering strength and determination, both on and off the football field, and the beginnings of a rivalry between the East and West that is still alive today.

WESTERN SWAGGER is the seventh of eight documentaries to debut on TSN as part of the network’s critically acclaimed ENGRAVED ON A NATION series.  

Passionate Canadian filmmaker, Barry Greenwald, had made three 16mm short films by the time he finished high school. While enrolled in the film program at Conestoga College, Greenwald made Metamorphosis, which won the Palme d’Or for Best Short Film at the Cannes International Film Festival. He began directing documentaries as an independent at NFB in 1981 mentoring with Arthur Hammond, John Kramer, and John Spotton. In 1983, Greenwald co-founded the Documentary Organization of Canada (DOC). His films have received critical acclaim, have been widely screened, and have received numerous honours.

Commissioned by Bell Media, ENGRAVED ON A NATION airs on TSN and in French on RDS.  Encore presentations of WESTERN SWAGGER are also available on Saturday, Nov. 17 at 7 p.m. ET on CTV Two and on Sunday, Nov. 18 at 12 noon ET on CTV.