05 Jul Canadian Filmmaker Frances-Anne Solomon invited to The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences
Canadian Filmmaker Makes the Coveted Invite List of New Academy Members, she was born in England to Trinidadian parents and began her professional life at the BBC in England.
In its effort to keep diversity at the forefront of its mandate, The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences invited 842 new members from 59 countries to join the organization responsible for the Oscar nominations, and Canadian filmmaker Frances-Anne Solomon is on the list of directors. She is in good company with Jonathan M. Chu (Crazy Rich Asians), Phil Lord and Christopher Miller (Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse), Nisha Ganatra (Late Night), Liza Johnson (Elvis & Nixon) and Jon Baird (Stan & Ollie).
“I am extremely excited and honored to be a part of this esteemed and diverse group of invitees,” said Solomon, who is currently on a world tour of her film Hero: Inspired by the Extraordinary Life and Times of Mr. Ulric Cross. “What means even more to me is that I was nominated by a woman of color director. This shows representation matters.”
Award-winning African-American director Ava DuVernay (When They See Us) put Solomon’s name forward to the Academy. Only members can sponsor colleagues to join, which happens once a year. The 2019 list is made up of 50 percent female and 29 percent are people of color. The Academy has been working to expand its membership since the #OscarSoWhite hashtag campaign and calls for a boycott of the ceremony four years ago.
Solomon chaired the 2019 Feature Film Nomination Committee for the Canadian Screen Awards and is a member of the Director’s Guild of Canada. She is currently Artist-In-Residence at Ryerson University’s School of Image Arts. She recently founded CineFAM, which supports Women of Colour creators worldwide. Solomon is CEO of the CaribbeanTales Media group and has run the CaribbeanTales International Film Festival for the last 14 years.
About Frances-Anne Solomon
Solomon was born in England to Trinidadian parents and began her professional life at the BBC in England, where she built a successful career as a producer, first with BBC Radio then with BBC television drama. She also produced and directed independent films through her company Leda Serene Films.
Solomon is the granddaughter of Trinidad and Tobago independence politician Dr. Patrick Solomon. When her grandfather left politics and took a role as a diplomat, the family lived in different countries including Canada, the United States, Europe, and Venezuela. She moved back to Trinidad at nine years old and attended the girls’ “prestige” school, Bishop Anstey High School.
At 18 she moved to Canada to live with her mother, and discovered a love of the arts, studying theatre at the University of Toronto’s U.C. Playhouse, and poetry with Jay Macpherson. In 1986, she moved to England, to work for the BBC.
In 1999, she moved her company to Canada, where she continued to write, direct, and produce films, television programs, theatre plays, and new media projects. In 2001, she founded CaribbeanTales, a charitable organization producing, exhibiting and distributing educational multi-media projects based on Caribbean-heritage stories. The CaribbeanTales International Film Festival founded in 2006 and based in Toronto, includes an annual festival, community screening series, and youth-focused film challenges.
The CaribbeanTales Incubator Program develops original content for the regional and international market, CTFF also holds workshops and festivals in other territories, including to date Barbados, Belize, and Cuba. In 2010, Solomon founded CaribbeanTales Worldwide Distribution Inc, the first film distribution company in the English-speaking Caribbean dedicated to the marketing and sales of Caribbean-themed films. In 2014 she launched CaribbeanTales-TV, a video-on-demand platform.
CBC/Radio Canada states that “Frances-Anne Solomon will have a say in who is recognized at next year’s ceremony.”