A report from News Americas Now.
The first Black, Caribbean-Canadian-made film of 2019 launches a limited theatrical release on Thursday, February 28, 2019.
Caribbean-Canadian filmmaker Frances-Anne Solomon’s internationally acclaimed feature film, HERO – Inspired By The Extraordinary Life & Times Of Ulric Cross, makes its Canadian theatrical premiere at the TIFF Bell Lightbox,located at 350 King St. W., Toronto, ON. In celebration of HERO’s achievement, Ghanian superstar Adjetey Anang, and British rising star Eric Kofi Abrefa, (Snowden, The Harlots), are confirmed to attend along with lead actor, Trinidad and Tobago’s Nickolai Salcedo and Canada’s Peter Williams, (Stargate SG1).
“Frances-Anne Solomon has done so much to bring crucial stories from the African Diaspora to screen,” said Cameron Bailey, TIFF’s Artistic Director and Co-Head. “Her portrayal of the Ulric Cross story illuminates an important chapter in Caribbean history. We’re honoured to present HERO at TIFF Bell Lightbox, in collaboration with CTFF.”
Filmed in Trinidad, Ghana, the UK and Canada, HERO is the story of Ulric Cross, who in 1941, left his small island to seek his fortune, and became the Royal Air Force’s most decorated West Indian. Then his life took a dramatically different course when he followed the call of history. He joined the African independence movements sweeping the world in the 50s and 60s.
Toronto’s Canadian premiere launches screenings across Canada and a cinematic world tour that includes Africa, the Caribbean and Europe.
HERO’s all-star cast of top international Black actors in powerful roles, includes Joseph Marcell, (Fresh Prince of Belair) who plays Trinidadian author CLR James, and Fraser James’ (Terminator) as Trinidadian revolutionary George Padmore; British-Nigerian actor Jimmy Akingbola plays Ghana’s first president Kwame Nkrumah, and Adjetey Anang (Adam’s Apple, Potomanto) plays Congo’s ill-fated first Prime Minister, Patrice Lumumba.
Among the film’s strong female roles, Stratford Theatre’s rising star Jessica B Hillplays the role of Nicola Cross while Britain’s Pippa Nixon (John Carter, Unforgotten) plays Anne Cross, and Canada’s Valerie Buhagiar (Bad Blood, Murdoch Mysteries) plays the role of the co-antagonist, MI6 agent Daphne Park.
“HERO captures a transformative moment in Black global history. Securing a theatrical release for the film presents a significant opportunity for us to share our story with a broad and diverse audience. The film is important especially for young Black people to understand on whose broad shoulders we stand, to learn who led big lives and who were heroes,” says Frances-Anne Solomon, director and producer of HERO.
“Launching at the prestigious TIFF Bell Lightbox theatre acknowledges the impact of this film on the Canadian theatre ecology and its capacity for exposure beyond the Caribbean and Africa.”
Date: Thursday, February 28, 2019
Location: TIFF Bell Lightbox, 350 King St. W., Toronto, ON M5V 3X5