FULL TIME STAFF MENTORS
  • Frances-Anne Solomon
  • Nicole Brooks

FOUNDER/CEO

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 project. In 2001 she successfully launch the first CaribbeanTales project. Today, the latter has grown into a group of companies – the CaribbeanTales Media Group — that produces, markets and sells Caribbean-themed audio-visual content across the globe.

 
 
 

FACILITATOR/MANAGER

Nicole Brooks is a Toronto-based filmmaker, director, performer, singer, playwright, composer, curator, teacher and ‘art-ivist’. She has developed the concept of “harmonized storytelling”; blending media and performing arts, Brooks has spent over 15 years envisioning narratives that illuminate the peoples of the African Diaspora.

Through her company Asah Productions Inc., founded in 2005, Brooks has generated a body of work for stage and screen. Highlights include ECHO (Sun TV), How She Move, and Aferee, an African dance documentary shot in Senegal. Brooks also produced three consecutive seasons of Divine Restoration (Vision TV), segment produced Living in Toronto for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, and acted as story editor for Lord Have Mercy (Vision TV/Leda Serene) – Canada’s first multicultural sitcom.

Currently, Brooks is back in development with Obeah Opera which had its worldwide premiere in PANAMANIA, presented by CIBC, an arts and culture festival celebrating the TORONTO 2015 Pan American/Parapan American Games. Concurrently, she is developing her first feature length documentary, in collaboration with the National Film Board of Canada: a portrait of internationally acclaimed chanteuse and legend Salome Bey.

FULL TIME INTERNATIONAL MENTORS
  • Andrew Millington
  • Mary Wells
  • Nick Davis
  • Suzette Zayden

(BARBADOS):

Andrew Millington is an independent filmmaker and educator born in Barbados. He is the writer, director and editor of the narrative feature film Guttaperc (2000). Zora’s Dream, another feature is scheduled for re-release in October 2016. He is currently producing a documentary Sugar, spirits and Sovereignty, a historical treatment of the evolution of Barbadian society and will begin production on a new film John Crow Paradise in 2017 through his production company Shango Films LLC. He serves as Senior Lecturer in Motion Picture Arts at the Errol Barrow Center for the Creative Imagination, University of the West Indies in Barbados and holds an MFA in Film from Howard University in Washington, DC.

Mary Wells (JAMAICA):

Mary Wells is an award winning independent film Director/ Writer and Producer based partly in Jamaica.  She has worked for Government Broadcasting, US Cable TV, a private production company and has over twenty five years experience in television and film production.  Her work has consisted mainly of small documentaries and dramas for young adults and children for mostly the Caribbean region.  In 1999, her short documentary, “Now Jimmy!” was awarded “Outstanding Documentary from the Caribbean” in the Sheryl Lee Ralph Film & Music Festival and it was also accepted: in the prestigious, Toronto Int’l Film Festival, 2002.  In 2013, she Directed, Wrote and Produced her first feature narrative film, “Kingston Paradise” and is the first woman from Jamaica to do a feature film.  She studied Television Production and the Theatre Arts in Washington DC and continues to do Film/TV production work of all kinds.

Nick Davis, manager of program development for CBC Radio, is former senior producer of CBC Toronto’s number one radio program, Metro Morning. He is committed to program development and to mentoring.

(BELIZE)

Suzette Zayden is a Belizean filmmaker passionate about promoting Caribbean films regionally and internationally. She holds an MPhil in Screenwriting from University of Bergen, Norway, a Diploma in Film Production from Escuela Internacional de Cine y Television of San Antonio de Los Banos, Cuba, and a BA In Communications (TV Production) from Loyola University, New Orleans. She is currently the Coordinator of the Film and Media Arts Unit for NICH – Belize’s National Institute of Culture & History – an office that facilitates the Belize Film Commission, the Belize International Film Festival of which she is the founder and current director, and all things pertaining to film in Belize.

``ON SITE`` FULL TIME INDUSTRY MENTORS:
  • Dr. Keith Nurse
  • Christopher Laird
  • Tab

(BARBADOS):

Dr. Keith Nurse is the Caribbean’s foremost creative industries’ expert with wide and varied international and regional expertise in his field. He has held senior positions and consultancies with governments, NGOs and international, regional and national agencies. He has taught at the University of the West Indies and the University of Ottawa, Canada. He is a former director at two state-owned enterprises in Trinidad and Tobago: National Petroleum Marketing Company and National Agro-Chemicals Ltd. He is also a director at Media 21 Ltd., Contemporary Caribbean Arts Ltd. (CCA 7) and a former director at the Entertainment Industry Development and Export Company.

Keith is a founding Director and Board Chair of CaribbeanTales Worldwide Distribution. His international network of colleagues as well as his integrated expertise in economics, business development, higher education and cultural diversity serve to enrich the strategic capacity of the 3D Project and to promote its ability to build and realize sustainable growth.

Senior Executive Director

(TRINIDAD)

Christopher Laird has produced over 300 documentaries, dramas and other video productions with Banyan Ltd. over the past 40 years garnering a score of national, regional and international awards. He has overseen the establishment of what is arguably the world’s largest collection of Caribbean culture on video in the Caribbean Film and Video Archive. In 2003 he founded, with Errol Fabien, the region’s first all Caribbean free to air television station, Gayelle. In 2009 he was awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of the West Indies.

INTERNATIONAL INDUSTRY GUESTS
  • John Reid
  • Renee Robinson
  • Nneka Luke
  • Annette Nias

John Reid (USA):

John Reid is the new interim CEO of Cable & Wireless Communications (CWC) and former president of Columbus Communications. John Reid’s entire 28 year career, apart from the year he completed his undergraduate degree, has been spent in the cable television and telecommunications industry, where he has developed a record for driving growth, leading complex integrations and introducing a culture of innovation and employee satisfaction, first in Canada, and during the past 11 years, across the Caribbean.

Over the past 11 years, John has led the launch of Digital Cable TV, IPTV, Broadband Internet and IP Telephony service in several Caribbean countries.

Renee Robinson (JAMAICA):

Renee Robinson, Strategist and CEO at Strategic Screen, is a media industry creative strategist and thought-leader with management experience in programming, regulation/policy, strategic planning, and industry intelligence – both in Canada and internationally. Prior to relocating to Toronto in 2008, Renee advised on policy development and industry intelligence to the Ministers of Culture, Entertainment, Tourism, and Foreign Affairs in Jamaica. Renee holds a MA in Communications and Culture with a specialization in Telecommunication policy.

Nneka Luke assumed the role of FilmTT general manager in 2016.

Luke most recently served as external relations director at the trinidad+tobago film festival (ttff), where she played a key role in helping to grow the festival’s profile and built a regional and international network encompassing Europe, the US, South Africa, South America and the Caribbean.  “After almost six years of involvement in the local film industry, first as a private sector sponsor and then at the ttff, it is exciting to have the opportunity to now contribute to its development at the state level,” said Luke.

Annette Nias (Barbados):

ANNETTE NIAS was first introduced to the world of theatre and the arts under the tutelage of the late Daphne Joseph-Hackett at Queen’s College. She started writing poetry and prose in her formative years, gaining inspiration since then from being published in various newspapers, magazines, books and from winning awards in several poetry competitions.

She has functioned as a performer, director, producer, production coordinator, technical director, and stage manager for many concerts, plays, musicals, festivals, fashion shows, film and television productions, festivals, carnivals, etc. in Barbados and abroad. She has managed and designed presentations for several artistic individuals and entities in Barbados, Trinidad and Antigua. During the period 1991 – 1992, she fulfilled the role of General Manager at Sheraton Centre, the largest shopping mall in Barbados.

At the National Cultural Foundation Annette has functioned as Theatre Arts Officer since its inception in 1983, as well as Administrative Officer, Literary Arts Officer, Technical Officer, Business Development Officer and Film and Photography Officer.
She is currently employed as Film Commissioner with the Cultural Industries Development Authority, a division of the Ministry of Culture, Barbados.

SOCIAL COORDINATOR
  • Faisal Lutchmedial

Faisal Lutchmedial (CANADA):

Faisal won the WGC Bell Media Diverse Screenwriters Program and was assigned to the writing room of The Listener – Season 4. He was then hired to work as the story editor to the webseries. His first professional short, Useless Things (2009, 16 min), won the Writers Guild’s English Script Prize at the Festival Nouveau Cinema, and more recently, he directed Mr. Crab (2012, 9 min), which aired nationally on the CBC Short Film Face Off. In addition to writing/directing, Faisal shot and edited Burgundy Jazz, a Radio- Canada webseries that was nominated for a Canadian Screen Award last year.

  • Yannique Ragbeer

Yannique Ragbeer

Yannique has been with CaribbeanTales for two seasons of work, this being her second.  She is thrilled once again to be part of the CaribbeanTales team as CTI coordinator – stretching her skills while contributing greatly to the flagship show of the company.