Toronto based British-Canadian filmmaker, writer, producer, and distributor Frances-Anne Solomon joins forces with a formidable team of women to tell the story of Claudia Jones. The pivotal role played by the British-Trinidadian journalist and activist Claudia Jones in launching the world’s largest street festival, the Notting Hill Carnival, will be the focus of a new Canada-UK co-production. Solomon’s company CaribbeanTales Media Group will lead the production working in partnership with Nadine Marsh-Edwards’s UK-Based Greenacre Films and Lisa Wickham’s Trinidad and Tobago-based Imagine Media International Limited. Frances-Anne told ALT about the collaboration.“It really is an exciting women led project, I feel like the stars are aligned as it really is the right time for a project like this in different places, in Trinidad they are really excited. I am sure we will get a lot of support. For me it is important for it to be rooted there, for us not to forget she came from Trinidad which is an extraordinary place and where I come from. Many of us roaming the world came from these places, rich small places with huge reach”.
Set in London in 1958 as violent race riots ravaged the country, CLAUDIA tells the story of Jones, a Trinidad-born activist deported to England from McCarthyite USA, who comes up with an ingenious plan to unite Britain’s Black and white working classes.
Who else is involved?
“Greenacre Films is proud to partner with Frances-Anne and CaribbeanTales to tell the story of a remarkable Black woman whose achievements helped to shape the London we live in today,” says Marsh-Edwards, whose many acclaimed productions include Been So Long, starring Michaela Cole.
Joining the team as co-creator and co-writer is British actress, writer and director Adjoa Andoh (Bridgerton, Dr. Who, Invictus) with rising British screenwriter Omari McCarthy, and Jamie Gaetz as Script Executive.
“Claudia’s work promoting women’s rights, Black rights and the rights of the poor and disenfranchised laid the seeds for so much that followed – African and Caribbean independence, civil rights, Pan Africanism and inevitably, today’s Black Lives Matter movement,” adds Adjoa Andoh.
Imagine Media’s CEO Lisa Wickham believes that, “Frances-Anne’s film shines a much-deserved light on a Caribbean-born woman whose rich and beautiful legacy amplifies Black voices and experiences as a whole.
Supported by Telefilm Canada, CLAUDIA is part of the Attagurl (formerly known as Attagirl) program a year-long lab focused on supporting the development and distribution paths of narrative fiction film projects by women and non-binary creatives. Production is expected to take place in the U.K. in 2021/2022. More about CaribbeanTales Media Group here.