Canadian R&B sensation Keshia Chanté stars in new drama series SOUL, premiering Feb. 11 on VisionTV



    TORONTO, Jan. 14 /CNW/ - Mahalia Brown has a talent that could open doors
for her. But if she dares to step through, she may find herself in a dangerous
place, far from everything in her life that's safe and true and comforting. Is
it a price worth paying to live her dream?
    Welcome to Mahalia's world. Welcome to SOUL.
    A six-part drama premiering in February on VisionTV, SOUL stars Canada's
premier R&B artist, Keshia Chanté, as Mahalia, a gifted young gospel singer on
the verge of leaving behind the safety of church and family for the fast track
to pop stardom.
    SOUL is VisionTV's first original hour-long drama series. It airs on
Wednesday nights, starting Feb. 11, at 9 p.m. ET / 6 p.m. PT.
    The series was produced for VisionTV by Halifax Film, an award-winning
production company whose credits include This Hour Has 22 Minutes and The
Guard. Principal photography took place in Halifax, NS last fall.
    SOUL is the first small-screen starring role for Ottawa-born Keshia
Chanté, who earned a Juno Award in 2005 for R&B/Soul Recording of the Year.
    As Mahalia, Chanté plays a young woman at a crossroads. A member of the
Keystone Church choir, she has been content to play second fiddle to her best
friend Alicia (Jessica Parker Kennedy, Smallville), the choir soloist, while
secretly dreaming of stardom.
    When Keystone competes in a televised choir competition, Mahalia seizes a
chance to step into the spotlight, putting her friendship with Alicia at risk.
Courted by an influential record producer, she finds her principles put to the
test. Can she stay spiritual in a material world?
    Mahalia's story unfolds against a backdrop of sometimes violent conflict
within her troubled urban neighbourhood - a dangerous world of drugs and guns
into which her ambitious brother Malcolm (Ish Morris, ReGenesis) is
increasingly drawn.
    SOUL also co-stars Eli Goree (North/South) as her boyfriend and fellow
choir member Samson, a young man struggling to protect a troubling secret, and
Karen LeBlanc (Playmakers) as choir leader Dee Dee Washington, a former pop
star and recovering addict trying to undo the damage of her past.
    Michael Anthony Rawlins (Intelligence), Kim Roberts (I'm Not There), Mpho
Koaho (Flashpoint) and series co-creator Andy Marshall (The Life and Hard
Times of Guy Terrifico) also star. Michael Beach (ER, Third Watch) guest stars
as gospel music mover and shaker Rev. Isaiah Hunter.
    The Executive Producers of SOUL are Floyd Kane (North/South), Peter
Lauterman (North of 60), Michael Donovan (Bowling for Columbine) and Charles
Bishop (The Guard). Joan Jenkinson is the Executive Producer for VisionTV.
    Andy Marshall is Creative Producer, and Margaret Harrison (Shake Hands
with the Devil) is Line Producer. The series writers are Andy Marshall, Peter
Lauterman and Floyd Kane. The directors include Stefan Scaini (Degrassi: The
Next Generation) and Steve DiMarco (The Chris Isaak Show).
    SOUL is a result of the DiverseTV initiative launched by VisionTV in
partnership with the National Screen Institute - Canada (NSI), and is the
first DiverseTV project to go before the cameras. DiverseTV was designed to
offer visible minority and Aboriginal writers the chance to create a
television drama for national broadcast.
    For more information on VisionTV programming, please visit
www.visiontv.ca.

    VisionTV, an S-VOX company, is Canada's multi-faith and multicultural
broadcaster, dedicated to entertaining and insightful programming that
celebrates diversity and promotes understanding and tolerance among people of
different faiths and cultures.

    Halifax Film (www.halifaxfilm.com), co-founded by Michael Donovan and
Charles Bishop, develops and produces original film and television
programming. Halifax Film manages and co-ordinates all aspects of a program's
life, including developing original ideas; purchasing literary rights;
arranging production financing; carrying out production and post-production;
and exploiting worldwide distribution rights. Halifax Film is a subsidiary of
DHX Media Ltd., a leading international producer and distributor of television
programming and interactive content with an emphasis on children, family and
youth markets.




For further information:

For further information: Media Contact: David Todd, Media Relations
Manager, VisionTV, Phone: (416) 368-3194, ext. 207, Email: dtodd@s-vox.com

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