LNG is an eight-episode limited series written for Canadian television by Justin Neal.
Focusing on an embattled liquified natural gas facility built on First Nations land in British Columbia, this comedic drama explores all dynamics swirling around this controversial plant — from a large scale conflict between tribal membership and the multinational corporation, to within individual relationships between family and old friends, on and off the reserve.
Approved by Chief and Council without a membership vote, the fictional Shmestiyox First Nation territory housing the LNG plant has long been at odds over the issue. Receiving payouts has made many tribal members happy while others use the funds to pay for a legal team to fight for a closure of the facility, due to the harm natural gas extraction — fracking — causes to the Earth as well as the potential for disaster having the facility on their territory. The plant’s owners also have a secret that a whistleblower within the company has taken to an activist group with the Nation, which may be a game changer.
As the Nation’s Chief and the plant’s community manager, who happen to be old childhood pals, find their relationship at a crossroads, their friendship-in-turmoil festers as tribal members move to occupy the plant’s grounds en masse.
Justin Neal grew up picking berries on the small family farm his Squamish grandma Dorothy Nahanee and Filipino grandpa Thomas Almojuela purchased in the 1940s, located on Bainbridge Island, Washington.
His feature script, The Skins Game — a coming of age story of two Native Americans who go on a road trip defacing racist mascot signs on high schools — is an official selection screenplay of the Beverly Hills Film Festival, Oaxaca Film Festival, and Evolution Mallorca Film Festival.
He received two recent commissions; a one-act play written for UBC Players Club, You Move On, and the creation of LNG through Testify. The limited series was developed after conversations with Sarah Morales on the profound effects oil and gas exploration have across Indigenous lands and lives.
Earning a Joint Master of Fine Arts degree in Creative Writing and Theatre from UBC in fall 2015, Justin’s thesis play So Damn Proud — a comedic story about a brother and sister that mixes mystery, irreverence, and drama alongside contemporary and traditional Coast Salish inspired dance — was selected for the 2015 Native Voices at the Autry Annual Retreat & Festival of New Plays. It receives its second workshop in Seattle this October with Northwest Playwrights Alliance at the Seattle Repertory Theatre.
Now based in Los Angeles, since 1996 Justin has collaborated on theatre, screen, and multidisciplinary projects in LA, New York, the Bay Area, Vancouver, and Seattle as an actor, playwright, and director.
Professor Morales joined the Faculty of Law, University of Ottawa in 2011.
Her research interests are generally in the area of Aboriginal and human rights law. Committed to the recognition and reconciliation of Indigenous legal traditions with the common law and civil law traditions in Canada.