Founder/CEO, CaribbeanTales Worldwide Distribution
Frances-Anne Solomon is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of CaribbeanTales Worldwide Distribution. She is an award-winning filmmaker, writer and producer in film, TV, radio, theatre and new media.
Born in England of Trinidadian parents, she was raised and educated in the Caribbean and Canada before moving to Great Britain where she built a successful career with the BBC as a TV drama producer and executive producer in the 1990s.
At the BBC, Frances-Anne was responsible for several strands of films and TV movies, including the Black Screen Strand and Screen on the Tube (with the BFI). Productions include Speak Like A Child (Dir. John Akomfrah), Love is the Devil (Dir. John Maybury), The Sixth Happiness (Dir. Waris Hossein) and Siren Spirits (Dirs. Ngozi Onwurah, Pratibha Parmar and Dani Williamson). She also worked as a radio drama producer/director for the BBC, producing some 35 radio plays, and as a documentary researcher and director for The Bandung File (Channel 4) and Ebony (BBC2).
Since her return to Toronto in 2000, she has continued to create, write, direct, and produce her own projects. Her most recent film, A Winter Tale, has received many prestigious international awards, including at FESPACO 2009 (Africa’s Oscars held biannually in Burkina Faso, West Africa) where it was nominated for, and won, Special Mention in the Paul Robeson Diaspora category.
She was the co-creator, producer and director of Lord Have Mercy!, Canada’s multicultural hit sitcom, which aired on Vision TV, Toronto/One, Showcase and APTN in 2003 and was nominated for two Gemini Awards: Best Comedy Series and Best Individual Performer (Leonie Forbes).
Her other directing credits include the feature film Peggy Su! (BBC Films, 1997), the drama What My Mother Told Me (Channel 4, 1995), Bideshi (British Film Institute, 1994) and documentaries Literature Alive (Bravo!/OMNI, 2006), Reunion (BBC, 1993) and I Is A Long Memoried Woman (Arts Council of England, 1991). Currently she is developing a new feature film project, based on her critically acclaimed theatre play, LOCKDOWN, that launched at the Toronto Fringe Theatre Festival, 2009.
Frances-Anne is the Artistic Director and President of the two companies she founded: Leda Serene Films, her film and television production vehicle, and CaribbeanTales, a prolific not-for-profit company that makes multimedia products aimed at the educational market. She is the founder and curator of the CaribbeanTales Annual Film Festival — Canada’s one and only forum showcasing the best of Caribbean cinema from around the world, now entering its fifth year.
2009 marked the launch of another Frances-Anne Solomon project — the CaribbeanTales Youth Film Festival: Celebrating Black History Month, a unique screening series that showcases Africentric films for high-school and university students.
Ms. Solomon began her television career at Banyan Productions in Trinidad and later studied theatre at the University of Toronto with Steve Martineau and Ken Gass, poetry with Jay MacPherson and trained as a film director in the UK at Bristol University’s RFT Programme and the prestigious BBC Drama Director’s Course.
Frances-Anne is currently a visiting lecturer in film at the Errol Barrow Centre for Creative Imagination, University of the West Indies at Cave Hill, Barbados, and in the Film Department at UWI St. Augustine, Trinidad.