Canadian specialty net Aboriginal Peoples Television Network (APTN) is moving forward with plans for a 24-hour U.S. channel featuring lifestyle content, scripted programming and news, and has named the venture the All Nations Network (ANN).
The endeavor was first announced in May of last year, when APTN revealed it was partnering with U.S.-based Castalia Communications to develop a channel targeting Aboriginal peoples in America.
A spokesperson for the net tells realscreen that a launch date has not yet been set, but is expected for the second half of 2016. ANN execs are presently in distributor meetings.
The New Mexico-headquartered operation is said to be the first of its kind to cater to both Native and non-Native audiences in the U.S. and will also feature sports, feature films and children’s programming. All content will be written, produced and directed by Native Americans, among others, according to the net.
A recent release issued by APTN notes that network distribution in the U.S. is being represented by Castalia Communications. Native American filmmaker Chris Eyre will also be working closely with ANN ahead of the American launch.
“We think the time is right for Native Americans to have their own channel and are happy to see the positive discussions Castalia has had with major U.S. pay-TV operators,” said Jean LaRose (pictured), APTN CEO, in a statement.
“Certainly, our experience in Canada has been one of creating and providing opportunities for our producers, for our storytellers, to tell our stories, in our words, to our peoples and to the world,” he continued. “Native American producers are poised and eager to have the same opportunities and we believe that we can work together to provide a unique window into the lives – past, present and future – of this community.”
Among those voicing support for the endeavor is filmmaker Jim Jarmusch, who said via a statement: “There is demand for a national Native network across the country. A vibrant new generation, a golden era of Native film-makers and artists will be born and have a dedicated channel through which to express their voices.”
Canada’s APTN has been operating for more than 16 years, and reaches about 92% of Canadian households and commercial establishments.