HERO will officially open the 13th edition of TT Film Festival (TTFF). The screening will be part of TTFF’s opening ceremony and gala on September 18 at the National Academy for the Performing Arts (Napa), Port of Spain.
Hero, directed by Frances-Anne Solomon, was inspired by the extraordinary life and times of Cross whose distinguished international career as a soldier, jurist and diplomat spanned key events of the 20th century when independent African and Caribbean nations came of age, said a media release. Out of this, a new brand of black leadership was born and post-colonial societies emerged to find their place today on the world’s stage.
The film expertly uses archival material and dramatic reconstruction to recite a tale of opposition and triumph in this important historic chapter in Cross’ life. It focuses on his contribution to the Pan African movement and his relationships with Tanzania’s first president Julius Nyerere and Kwame Nkrumah, Ghana’s first prime minister and president. Hero was produced by TT nationals and filmed in Ghana, United Kingdom and TT. Nikolai Salcedo conveys a mesmerising characterisation of Ulric Cross, the release said. The cast also includes acclaimed British actor Joseph Marcell as CLR James, noted Trinidadian actor Rudolph Walker and a number of leading Ghanaian actors.
Solomon, who also produced the film, notes that “Hero explores not just the life, but also the dynamic and transformative times that Ulric Cross was born into. Ultimately, the film is about us, who we are as Caribbean people.” Lisa Wickham producer of Hero says, “This film has international and diplomatic significance for Trinidad and Tobago and its relationships with Africa and the United Kingdom as it signifies the role that it has played and continues to play in international affairs.”
Hero is one of three TT feature-length films starring at this year’s festival. Dr Bruce Paddington, festival founder and director of the film festival expressed his delight in the selection of a TT film opening the festival for a third consecutive year. “We are once again proud to screen a film from Trinidad and Tobago as our opening film and especially pleased that the film is about a true hero, Ulric Cross, at a time when a country needs heroes and role models,” Paddington said.
TTFF/18 will also feature a stellar programme of award-winning Caribbean and Panorama films plus an unprecedented number of shorts, which will be announced shortly.
TTFF’s programming director Annabelle Alcazar said, “We are showing over 60 TT new shorts and it is exciting to see that, despite funding challenges, the quality and range of subjects increases every year.” The world premiere of Hero will be preceded by a cocktail reception, sponsored by BPTT at 6 pm. The director, producers and the cast and crew will be present.
Photos courtesy Hero Film: https://www.facebook.com/HERO4ALLTIME/