Filmmaker | Writer | Producer
Frances-Anne Solomon is an award-winning filmmaker, writer, producer, curator, and entrepreneur in film, TV, radio, theatre, and new media. Born in England to Trinidadian parents, she was raised and educated in the Caribbean and Canada before moving to Great Britain where she has built a successful career.
What steps were involved in getting accepted into the Academy?
You have to be invited by other members to be a part of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science. As far as I know, one of the members who sponsored me was American director Ava DuVernay. I received an email from her congratulating me on being invited to join the Academy. Shortly after that I received the invite from the Academy and accepted. This year, I put my name forward to be a part of the Director’s Executive Branch which decides on future invitees to the Academy and I was accepted to be a part of it.
How long did Hero take to make, from development to distribution?
Is it available to be screened online, if so what platforms?
Hero is currently available on the Showtime streaming platform’s On Demand and on Showtime television channel SHOxBET. You can check their website for the tv schedule.
How was the tour and the audience reception?
The tour was a huge success – so much so, we had a second run in the UK. Audiences in Canada, America, Britain and the Caribbean were blown away by the story of Ulric Cross. The consistent reaction was, “I didn’t know about his story – why is that?” and “Thank you for making this movie and letting the world know about this great man and all he did for the Caribbean and Africa.” There were people in tears because they saw their story on the big screen, their lived experience. The Pan African movement was a huge moment in the world’s history and there are so many heroes – men and women – whose stories remain untold. There are Caribbean and African communities in all parts of the world, which is why we were doing a world tour. Unfortunately, it was cut short by the pandemic, but the impact we made up to that point – phenomenal!
What is your inspiration behind your new project CLAUDIA?
Claudia Jones was a modern-day superhero rooted in the real world, whose remarkable life and achievements straddled the USA, England and the Caribbean. That was the first thing I was drawn toward when researching her life – there are so many layers to her story that will surprise and inspire audiences. The second thing was the opportunity to work with a global team of accomplished Black women – Nadine Marsh-Edwards of UK-based Greenacre Films, Imagine Media International Ltd’s President and CEO Lisa Wickham from Trinidad and British actress, writer and director Adjoa Andoh.
How long do you think it will take before it reaches the screen?
Covid-19 and funding permitting 2022/23
What would you like the message of CLAUDIA to be?
This brave, determined and multi-talented woman from a small island made a huge and lasting impact on the world. Claudia tells the story of a Trinidadian immigrant and deportee persecuted by powerful forces who finds strength and purpose to uplift her community and make a mark on the world. The film is set in the ’50s but this is not a stuffy British period drama – it’s a vibrant portrayal of a dynamic woman’s journey that echoes the protests, idealism and determination that we see on today’s streets.
Tell us about the CaribbeanTales platform and how filmmakers can showcase their work on that platform.
The CaribbeanTales Film Festival (CTFF) is celebrating its sweet 16 year in 2021! CTFF highlights the talents of established and emerging filmmakers of Caribbean and African heritage who practice their art across the Caribbean Diaspora worldwide. CTFF presents a multi-ethnic mix of exciting and dynamic films that showcase diverse and shared stories as well as cultures.
Filmmakers can submit right now through our website: www.caribbeantalesfestival.com and all lengths and genres from Caribbean filmmakers are accepted. So, submit, submit, submit!!!
We also have CaribbeanTales-TV – our Video On-Demand platform www.caribbeantales-tv.com which is a streaming service for films by filmmakers who come from the Caribbean diaspora. I invite everyone to check it out and subscribe – it’s our Caribbean Netflix!
What advice would you give to up and coming filmmakers?
A big part of filmmaking is the passion and the desire to tell stories. Always keep that passion and desire close by when times are tough – when funding falls through or edits aren’t how you envisioned them or when no one is seeing the brilliance in the project that you are pitching. It is during those times of frustration that passion and desire will fuel you and continue to push you toward your goal. There are stories to be told – go out and tell them!