Spotlight on Floyd Kane
When creating the CMF-funded series Diggstown, one of Floyd Kane’s intentions was to change how Canadians think about his province’s spaces. He remembers some Tourism Nova Scotia ads of his youth: people “dining on lobster, going sailing, swimming and surfing, and they were all white.”
“It’s important to put Black and Indigenous people front and centre in all of those spaces as a way of saying, ‘These spaces are for you too. We can be inclusive here.’”
The Nova Scotia-raised creator, executive producer, and showrunner excitedly mentions a new real-life surfing movement at Martinique Beach, where “young Black girls are now taking up surfing.” It’s inspired by the show’s heroine, a legal aid lawyer played by Vinessa Antoine – one of the first Black female leads of a Canadian television drama series.
Floyd earned his law degree from Dalhousie University, and worked as a lawyer in the film industry while also writing his own screenplays. In 2010, he started the independent Freddie Films, producing projects such as 2015’s awardwinning film Across the Line, which he wrote, and Diggstown, now in its third season, airing this fall on CBC, and on Fox in the US.
The pandemic hit the province while the show was shooting its latest season. Production was shut down for several days to protect the cast and crew’s physical and mental health. Indeed, Floyd feels the COVID pandemic has “laid bare” many societal issues: “There’s a lot of systemic rot within our society. With Diggstown we’ve tried to shine a light on these things, get people to think about and ruminate on them.”
Empathy, he says, helps his team of writers weave these complex, important stories with authenticity and truth. And inspiration is always easily found in the great Nova Scotian outdoors.