Brantford is down with Webster.
Emmanuel Lewis, star of the 1980s television sitcom Webster, was in town this week working with Jukasa Studios on Six Nations and hitting up local hot spots like OLG Casino Brantford.
“It’s really cool,” Lewis said of the area during an interview at Jukasa Studios. “It’s all very new to me.”
The Atlanta, Georgia-based actor is in town working on a deal with Jukasa Media Group owner Ken Hill to create a new production company and film studio in conjunction with Jukasa music studios.
“We’re not started yet,” Lewis said. “We’re in the mental stages to see if we can do something, see if it is a fit. I’ve been working with these guys, hanging out with these guys and we’ve done different stuff together with the (Dreamcatcher Charitable) Foundation.”
The new film studio, tentatively called Dreamcatcher Cinema Group, will include a state-of-the-art feature film post-production facility. Films will focus on native stories from a native perspective, Lewis said.
“You’ve seen a lot of native movies, but not from a native perspective,” he said. “You’ve seen Pocahontas, you’ve seen Sitting Bull…but not from this perspective.”
Lewis said he hopes to work with Canadian director James Cameron and country crooner Shania Twain on future film projects.
Lewis said he’s been inspired by native culture since arriving in the Brantford area. He’s currently reading the book The Roots of the Iroquois by Tehanetorens to educate himself further.
“This has been an educational trip for me,” Lewis said. “I’ve only read about natives and not a lot of it was good.
“Here is an eye-opener for a different set of history that wasn’t in our books. You learn it’s just as rich as all the other things I’ve read and seen. It’s like my life is getting more rich with understanding culture.”
Lewis’ trip wasn’t all work. His associates at Jukasa have been trying to teach him the Canadian way.
“They’re trying to get me into hockey and lacrosse,” Lewis said. “I know Wayne Gretzky, but I’ve never even been to a game.”
Lewis will leave the Brant area and head to Los Angeles on Tuesday.