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 educated in Trinidad, Canada, England, and France. She then went on to build a successful career over 13 years in England with the BBC as a TV Drama Producer and Executive Producer, while also producing and directing films through her company Leda Serene. In 2000 she returned to Toronto, where she continued to create, write, direct, and produce her own projects. In 2001, she launched CaribbeanTales. Today, the latter has grown into a group of companies — the CaribbeanTales Media Group — that produces, markets, and sells Caribbean-themed audio-visual content around the globe. She was the producer of Kingston Paradise, alongside director Mary Wells, the first feature film by a Jamaican woman; co-creator, director and producer on Lord Have Mercy, Canada’s first multi-cultural sitcom. Her new film “HERO, a Bio-Fiction, Inspired by the Life and Times of Trinidadian War-Hero, Broadcaster, Lawyer and Diplomat” will be released in 2018.
Nicole Brooks is the Vice President of CaribbeanTales Worldwide Distribution and is also the Facilitator/Manager of the CaribbeanTales Market Incubator Program. Within her vast career as a content creator, Brooks has spent over 15 years envisioning narratives that illuminate the peoples of the African Diaspora. Her extensive accomplishments include filmmaker, director, performer, singer, playwright, composer, curator, teacher and ‘art-ivist’.
In addition to her duties at CaribbeanTales, Brooks simultaneously creates, develops and produces content for multiple platforms including film, television and the performing arts.
Through her company Asah Productions Inc., founded in 2005, Brooks has generated a body of work for television and film. Highlights include ECHO (Sun TV/As One Inc.), How She Move –Featurettes (Sienna Films),and Aferee (B. Lindsay creation), an African dance documentary shot in Senegal. Brooks also produced three consecutive seasons of Divine Restoration (Vision TV), segment produced Living in Toronto (CBC), and acted as story editor for Lord Have Mercy (Vision TV/Leda Serene) – Canada’s first multicultural sitcom.
Expanding her storytelling beyond the small and big screens, most recently Brooks latest work Obeah Opera, a theatrical work, premiered in PANAMANIA, presented by CIBC, an arts and culture festival celebrating the TORONTO 2015 Pan American/Parapan American Games.
Courtney Panchan has been working alongside Frances-Anne Solomon on all CaribbeanTales’ projects and affiliated companies since February 2006. As of today’s date, Courtney is not only the Sales & Acquisitions Manager for CaribbeanTales Worldwide Distribution but she is also the Manager of the 2017 CaribbeanTales International Film Festival. With a mind for business and a passion for Art, she has found great success and contentment in the film industry.
Courtney believes strongly in the CaribbeanTales’ mission and is always strongly supportive of all the CaribbeanTales initiatives and successes. Since the launch of CaribbeanTales Worldwide Distribution, Courtney has played a key role in developing and strengthening the Acquisitions, Sales and Delivery functions. She looks forward to staying within the CaribbeanTales family as its business develops internationally.
Rodney V. Smith has been writing stories from the time he could hold a pencil. Born in Barbados, he has written short stories, screenplays and webseries.
He is one of the founding members of the Independent Web series Creators of Canada (IWCC) and has written and produced several webseries including the critically acclaimed “Dominion” and the sci-fi adventure “Out of Time”. Smith grew up in Barbados with an active interest in writing and art. He has been writing and producing screenplays for over 10 years and has published serialized stories on Wattpad.
Smith has worked in film and television since 2003 and has worked on a large number of independent feature and short films.
Rodney V. Smith
As a filmmaker, Maya Bastian’s short films and documentaries have screened at festivals around the world.
Primarily focusing on social justice issues, her short thriller ‘Fear Itself’ garnered Best Horror and Best Cinematography at the San Francisco International Women’s Film Festival and her documentary ‘After the War’ won the Best Documentary Award at the Eyelens Film Festival in Vancouver, BC. From there, she spent several years traveling the world as an investigative video journalist, documenting areas of conflict and post-conflict. Maya’s latest narrative short film ‘Air Show’ is about the effect of the Toronto Air Show on newcomer refugees.
Maya also sits on the board of Toronto’s Breakthroughs Film Festival for emerging female filmmakers. She is the recent recipient of the Magee TV Diverse Screenwriting Mentorship Award and has been selected as a participant in Reelworld Film Festival’s Emerging 20 program.
Mary Wells is an award winning independent film director, writer, and producer based in Jamaica and in the USA, with over twenty years’ experience in television and film production. In 1999, her short documentary, Now Jimmy! was awarded “Outstanding Documentary from the Caribbean” in the Sheryl Lee Ralph Film/Music Festival. It was also an official selection at TIFF in 2002. Kingston Paradise, her first feature, was recently award “Best Diaspora Feature” in the African Movie Academy Awards 2014. Mary studied Television Production and the Theatre Arts in Washington DC and continues to work on a broad variety of film and TV productions.
Mary is currently on the CaribbeanTales Board of Directors and maintains a close and supportive relationship with all its initiatives.