Frances-Anne Solomon is an award-winning filmmaker of Caribbean heritage and a writer, producer and director in film, TV, Radio and new media. She was born in England to Trinidadian parents and educated in Trinidad, Canada, England and France. She then went on to build a successful career over thirteen years in England with the BBC as a TV Drama Producer and Executive Producer. In 2000, she returned to Toronto where she continued to create direct and produce her own projects. In 2001 she successfully launched the first CaribbeanTales project.
Her directing credits include:
Today, CaribbeanTales has grown into a group of companies – the CaribbeanTales Media Group — that produces, markets and sells Caribbean-themed audio-visual content across the globe.
Nicole Brooks has been making a significant mark on the Canadian arts landscape for more than a decade with her maverick approach to blending her talents in film, television and the performing arts into her work as a filmmaker, director, actress, singer, playwright, producer, teacher and ‘art-ivist’. Her achievements include the critically acclaimed documentary A LINC IN TIME, the docu-series ECHO, the music documentary THE SISTAHS CONCERT and the dance film ORISHA SUITE. Her latest oeuvre OBEAH OPERA, a theatrical epic, will premiere during Panamania, the cultural arm of the 2015 Pan Am Games.
Nicole originally became involved with CaribbeanTales as an alumna of the Incubator Program. She graduated from the Incubator to become one of its facilitators in subsequent years. Over the past year, she has been CTWD’s Distribution Officer and has now joined the 3D Project Team, commissioned to take CT content to new heights and viewership around the world.
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
In this capacity, she has 12 years experience as an event and festival specialist working with programmers, community leads and partners to shape artistic direction, liaise with internal and external departments and programming themes, and manage day-to-day operations and resources to ensure seamless coordination of over 200 events a year.
She also works as Artistic Associate programming a select number of summer events that meet the overall artistic vision, priorities, and objectives of Harbourfront Centre.
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.
An arts and culture enthusiast, Neetika graduated from University of Toronto with a specialist degree in Business Management and has been working in the Art Management field for over 6 years now. She has been associated with many other ethnic art organizations in Toronto and is currently working in the CaribbeanTales team as an Office Manager. She is also a professional performing Artist and actively performs full length dance productions across Canada and abroad. She is also an avid choreographer, dance instructor, actor, diversity advocate, believer of dreams, and is fueled by passion.
Born and brought up in a Mediterranean country by Indian parents, she finds immense content in endorsing the ideas and values of CaribbeanTales and the need for Artists from various ethnic backgrounds to work together in order to create an inclusive society.
Mandisa Pantin changed her life when she encountered the audiovisual industry for the first time. Falling in love with the way that the camera could reshape the world, she delved headlong into a multifaceted career within film and television, ranging from the technical to the production aspects, which enabled her to make her own films. Currently, Mandisa has made several short fictional films and one documentary Caribbean Skin African Identity which have shown all over the world. Mandisa was a tutor in the film department at the University of the West Indies, an active member of IMPATT, the audiovisual trade organisation of T&T, a graduate of the CaribbeanTales Incubator Program. This is her fifth year as part of the programming team and third as Programming Coordinator for CTFF.
AKLEY OLTON is a Director/Cinematographer from Saint Vincent and the Grenadines who uses art to share the beauty and contradictions of the Caribbean. He is dedicated to the development of Caribbean cinema, trained in visual arts, graphic design, and audiovisual production.
Since 2011 Akley started work as Director of Photography for Film Fiction, Documentary and Advertising. He has a Bachelor degree in Fine Arts from the University of the West Indies and also studied Cinematography at the International School of Cinema and TV EICTV, Cuba.
He has worked on projects in St. Vincent and the Grenades, Barbados, Trinidad and Tobago, Cuba, El Salvador, Honduras, London, Canada, and Ghana.