Carlee Ryski (photo submitted)

Two Central Albertans win Rosies for outstanding film work

Unveil Studios movie and RDC film grad are honoured

Red Deer was well represented among the winners at the Alberta Film and Television Awards on Saturday.

Not only did the gritty local film She Has a Name rack up an award for best production design, but Red Deer College graduate Carlee Ryski had her own Oscar-worthy moment winning best performance by an actress in the feature indie film On the Rocks.

Ryski, who had been nominated in two acting categories (including best actress in a short film for Canary), earned the so-called Rosie award for portraying a lead in a coming-of-age movie about love-struck runaways, shot in the Alberta badlands by Edmonton’s Guerrilla Motion Pictures.

The 2014 graduate of RDC’s Motion Picture Arts program recalled it was a “very, very surreal” experience, getting called to the podium Saturday at the Edmonton ceremony. “It was pretty crazy. It was like everything went in slow motion… I was just so honoured and humbled to even be in the same room with some of Alberta’s best filmmakers,” added Ryski.

The St. Albert native, now based in Vancouver, credits her former RDC instructors Larry Reese, Don Armstrong and James Wilson, for “teaching us to push ourselves as artists… RDC was such a great experience for me, I hold it close to my heart.”

Red Deer resident Shari Aspinall earned a Rosie from the Alberta Media Production Industries Association for best production design for the film She Has A Name. The feature about sex trafficking, shot by Red Deer’s Unveil Studios in Central Alberta and Thailand, received five nominations, but won for its atmospheric sets and locations.

Aspinall, who worked with U.K. resident Donna Abraham (who wasn’t eligible for a Rosie nomination since she lives out of province) said it was a great surprise to win for her first movie.

“As a newbie, I was honoured to be acknowledged,” said the designer who has, up to now, primarily decorated homes and businesses. She and Abraham helped select locations for She Has a Name, working to achieve the directors’ and cinematographer’s vision.

Daniel Kooman, one of the film’s co-directors, said he’s “very excited” about Aspinall’s win, which he feels is a reflection of the collaborative, team effort on the project.

She Has a Name is available for private screening (for more information, please visit

On the Rocks (cinematographer Sam Reid is another RDC grad who was nominated for a Rosie, but did not win) is still doing the festival circuit. For screening information, stay tuned to


Shari Aspinall, co-production designer for She Has a Name (photo submitted)

Just Posted

House in Calgary destroyed in fire following apparent explosion, officials say

CALGARY — A house was destroyed when a fire broke out following… Continue reading

Alberta missionaries among the Canadians heading home from riot-stricken Haiti

MONTREAL — A group of Canadian missionaries who were trapped in Haiti… Continue reading

Jason Kenney pledges education revamp if UCP wins power in Alberta

EDMONTON — Alberta Opposition leader Jason Kenney says if his United Conservative… Continue reading

400-plus vehicles written off since acid spill on B.C. highway last year: ICBC

TRAIL, B.C. — British Columbia’s public auto insurer says about 450 vehicles… Continue reading

VIDEO: Community ‘comes together’ at opening ceremonies

The nation will focus its eyes on Red Deer for the next… Continue reading

South African activists try to protect endangered pangolins

JOHANNESBURG — As World Pangolin Day is marked around the globe, Saturday,… Continue reading

Fourteen ‘dream’ homes ordered evacuated as sinkholes open in Sechelt, B.C.

Greg and Gerry Latham spent Friday morning scrambling to pack up family… Continue reading

Former B.C. premier Gordon Campbell accused of sexual assault: British newspaper

LONDON — A British newspaper says police in London are investigating an… Continue reading

Graham: U.S. should be stronger on Canadians detained in China

MUNICH — U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham said Friday the response by the… Continue reading

Conservative leaders to attend pro-pipeline rally in Saskatchewan

By Stephanie Taylor THE CANADIAN PRESS MOOSOMIN, Sask. — Federal Tory leader… Continue reading

Games athletes making themselves at home at RDC

Red Deer College’s campus will be home for the athletes during the 2019 Canada Winter Games

Alix resident captures beams of light near Lacombe

Lacombe, Blackfalds, Red Deer photos have since gone viral around the world

Welcome message from the mayor

On behalf of Red Deer city council, the City of Red Deer… Continue reading

Most Read