The Judges for The Pitch Caribbean
For information about the judges for The Pitch International, click here.
Frances-Anne Solomon is an award-winning filmmaker, writer, and producer in film, television, radio, theatre, and new media. Born in London, England to Trinidadian parents and raised in the Caribbean and Canada, Frances-Anne began her television career at Banyan Productions in Trinidad.
Eventually returning to Great Britain, she built a successful career at the BBC as a TV Drama Producer and Executive Producer, responsible for several strands of films and TV movies including the Black Screen Strand and Screen on the Tobe (with the BFI). These included productions such as Speak Like A Child (John Akomfrah), Love is the Devil (John Maybury), The Sixth Happiness (Waris Hossein) and Siren Spirits (Ngozi Onwurah, Pratibha Parmar, and Dani Williamson).
Frances-Anne also worked as a radio drama producer/director at the BBC producing over 35 radio plays and as a documentary researcher/director for The Bandung File (Channel 4) and Ebony (BBC2). Frances-Anne trained as a film director in the UK at Bristol University’s RFT Programme and the prestigious BBC Drama Directors Course.
For the past twenty years, I have been in the Film and Theatre Industry, either as a student, actress, instructor or a member of the International Film Festival circuit.
After obtaining a college degree in International Relations, I pursued professional training in the dramatic arts at the Lee Strasberg Theatre & Film Institute in New York and Balliol College University Of Oxford, United Kingdom to study Shakespeare.
Following a career in the Theatre in New York, as a member of SAG/ AFTRA and Equity I returned to The Bahamas in 2004 to establish the Bahamas International Film Festival (BIFF). For the past eight years BIFF has staged annual events in the first week in December honouring such Hollywood Super Stars as Heather Graham, Johnny Depp, Alan Arkin, Sir Sean Connery, Nicholas Cage, Laurence Fishburne, Roger Corman, Daryl Hannah, Sophie Okonedo, Anna Faris, Naomie Harris and Zoe Kravitz.
During these Festivals, international movies from around the world are screened for the enjoyment of visiting Filmmakers and resident film-goers. These films are outstanding premieres not regularly shown at the local theatres; some, e.g. The King's Speech, Juno & Precious, won the prestigious Oscar at the Academy Awards in the subsequent year.
I have participated in numerous international film festivals over the past eight years -Sundance, Tribeca, Cannes, Venice, Berlin and Toronto, to name a few. Also, I was featured in an interview at the Cannes Film Festival while with Thierry Fremaux, Artistic Director of the Cannes Festival. In addition, I have had the honour of serving as a panelist at Cannes International Film Festival and a returning special panelist at Women In Film, representing International Film Festivals in Hollywood.
Winston Bello Bell
Winston Bello Bell is a 1981 graduate of the Jamaica School of Drama who has risen in popularity among Jamaicans across the globe for his work in Film, stage and radio. Bello is an ordained minister of religion and the founder of Time Our For Jesus Worldwide Ministries, co-founder Area Youth Foundation and Managing Director Joy Bell Foundation.
Bello’s theatre experience spans over 35 years and includes numerous plays: Trevor Rhone’s “Pepper” and "Old Story Time” Ginger Knight’s “Whiplash” and “Poly-Tricks,” Basil Dawkins’ “What The Hell Is Happening To Us Dear?” Peter Adrian Cohen’s “Ship To Zion,” Patrick Brown’s “Cindy-Relisha,” Debra Binn’s “Stop Dat Train” and David Tulloch’s “If Walls Could Talk.”
In the area of film, Bello has done work locally and internationally; credits include:
“Orchid House” where he played alongside the late Madge Sinclair, “Third World Cop” where he played the very lovable character, Floyd – who is always calling for “back up!” “One Love” in which he starred as Selector G, “Glory to Glorianna” where he appears as Bass, Glorianna’s father, and “Ghett’a Life” as Coach, Manuel…
Bello is one half of the ever popular Bello and Blakka comedy duo which rose to prominence in Jamaica in the late 1980s; Bello (and Blakka) became very popular in England via their BBC Channel Four one hour special as well as their appearance on “Blouse and Skirt” which is a one hour television stand-up comedy show featuring various Caribbean acts and hosted by Oliver Samuels.
Bruce Paddington (Ph.D.) lectures in film at the University of the West Indies, Trinidad. He has published many journal articles on Caribbean and Latin American cinema and has co-edited, with Luis Notario, the book Exploring Caribbean Cinema that was launched at the Havana International Book Fair in 2012.
He is the founder and festival director of the Trinidad and Tobago Film Festival; founder director of the New World Film Centre and the founder of the production company Banyan Productions. He is an award winning filmmaker, having made over 500 films and television programmes, mainly on Caribbean culture. His 2006 documentary, “The Mennonites of Belize”, has been screened at the Trinidad and Tobago Film Festival, the New Latin American Film Festival in Havana, the Zanzibar International Film Festival, the St. Barth Film Festival, the Guadeloupe Documentary Festival and in 2007 received the award as the best cultural and educational programme by the Caribbean Broadcasting Union.
His latest film, Forward Ever: The Killing of a Revolution, highlights the revolutionary government of Grenada in 1979 and its demise with the bloody killings of 1983. He has taught film at York University, Toronto and Bowling Green State University, Ohio and lectured at Florida Atlantic University, Dickinson College, Trinity College, Winona State University, Carleton University, the University of Michigan, Syracuse University, the Open University and the International Film School, Cuba.