Frances-Anne Solomon is an award-winning filmmaker, writer, producer, curator, and entrepreneur 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. Productions included Love is the Devil by John Maybury, and Speak Like A Child by John Akomfrah, both of which she executive produced for the BBC. At the same time she also produced and directed films and television programs through her production company Leda Serene Films.
She moved to Toronto in 2000, where she continued to create, write, direct, and produce her own projects. Her most recent film, A Winter Tale, received many prestigious international awards, including most recently at Fespaco 2009 (Africa’s Oscars held biannually in Burkina Faso West Africa) where it won in The Paul Robeson Diaspora Category. Her other directing credits include the feature film Peggy Su! (BBC Films, 1997); the drama, What My Mother Told Me (Channel 4 1995), and Bideshi (British Film Institute 1994); and documentaries Literature Alive (Bravo!/OMNI, 2006), Reunion 2 (BBC,1993), and I Is A Long Memoried Woman (Arts Council of England 1991).
She was the Co-creator, Producer and Director of Lord Have Mercy! Canada’s hit Caribbean sitcom, that 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).
She is the founder and CEO of the CaribbeanTales Media Group, based in Barbados and Toronto, a group of companies that create, produce, market, and monetise Caribbean-themed film and television content for global audiences.
It includes CaribbeanTales Inc. (a registered Canadian Charity) ; the CaribbeanTales International Film Festival, — now in its 12th year — an annual event that takes place in Toronto; the CaribbeanTales Incubator Program, a development and production hub for original content from the Caribbean and its Diapora; CaribbeanTalesFlix, our production arm; CaribbeanTales-TV, a subscription video on demand platform; and The CaribbeanTales Youth Film festival, a unique screening series that showcases Africentric films for high school and university students.
In 2010, together with with Caribbean cultural Industries specialist Dr Keith Nurse, media personality and producer Lisa Wickham, businessman Dr. Terrence Farrell and filmmaker and Mary Wells, Frances-Anne launched CaribbeanTales Worldwide Distribution Inc, the first of its kind film distribution company in the English speaking Caribbean.
She has taught Film at the University of the West Indies, St Augustine (Trinidad) and Cave Hill (Barbados). She began her television career at Banyan Productions in Trinidad, studied Theatre at the University of Toronto with Steve Martineau and Ken Gass, and poetry with Jay MacPherson. She trained as a film director in the UK at Bristol University’s RFT Programme and the prestigious BBC Drama Directors Program.
I Is A Long Memoried Woman:
Gold Award – Television Performing Arts – New York International Film and TV Festival
Best Feature – Sony Awards
Prix Futura – Best Documentary Feature
Reunion – West Indian Women At War:
Prized Pieces Award – National Black Programming Consortium, US.
What My Mother Told Me:
Producer’s Award – Women of The Sun, US
Best Film Portraying the Black Experience – Berlin Black Film Festival
Best Short Film – Bombay Film Festival
BAFTA – Best Costume Design
Lord Have Mercy!:
Gemini – nomination, Best Comedy Series (with Claire Prieto, Vanz Chapman)
Gemini – nomination, Best Actress for Leonie Forbes
A Winter Tale:
Best Canadian Feature – ReelWorld Film Festival
Audience Award, Best Feature – Trinidad & Tobago Film Festival
Best Foreign Film – San Diego Black Film Festival
Ousmane Sembène Award for Best Foreign Film – Lagos Film Festival
Diaspora Award – Fespaco