September 17, 2020 (Toronto, ON) – The Big Pitch 2020 goes LIVE on two platforms today until Sunday September 20th on the Creators of Colours Incubator (CCI) and Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) websites where TIFF industry passholders and the public can vote for the best presentation along with the industry judges. The Big Pitch is the culmination of the month-long Creators of Colour Incubator (CCI), that this year features 4 amazing projects from Canadian women and non-binary creators. Supported by Telefilm Canada, Ontario Creates and the Indigenous Screen Office, the Audience and Jury Awards will be announced on Monday September 28th at 7:00pm when the pitches will be showcased one final time as a Live Event on CaribbeanTales-TV.
In its 11th year, CCI’s stellar line-up of participants and projects is : Seahorse a feature drama by actor director and filmmaker Aisha Evelyna (Syfy’s 12 Monkeys)Prom Night a feature comedy by writer/director Samantha MacAdam (The Nut Job), producer V.T. Nayani (Shadeism: Digging Deeper)What Night Taught Them a feature documentary by Lisa Rideout (One Leg In, One Out), producer Tobi Abdul (re:Presenting)Tenaya a feature drama directed by Victoria Anderson-Gardner (The Hurt That Binds Us), with producer Laura Friedmann.
As well as supporting creators, the program for the second year has a focus on developing producers. The producer participants are V.T. Nayani, Tobi Abdul, and Laura Friedmann.
“As Telefilm increases its efforts to expand the reach of stories and works by Black, Indigenous and People of Colour, I am so happy that we can support the CaribbeanTales’ Creators of Colour Incubator program once again,” said Christa Dickenson, Executive Director of Telefilm Canada. “Recently we have made an annual pledge of $100,000 towards the industry initiative of a Black Screen Office. As the first Canadian agency to do so, we are taking steps to help address the imbalances that exist within our film industry. And the CaribbeanTales’ CCI reflects the change we need to see onscreen.” “Mentorship and training opportunities for women and non-binary creators of colour in Ontario’s film industry is of vital importance, so Ontario Creates is exceptionally pleased to support the CineFAM Creators of Colour Incubator, run by the talented CaribbeanTales team. With its strong inclusive lens and high caliber content, we are confident that this program will be successful in strengthening the industry workforce in communities throughout the province,” said Karen Thorne-Stone, President & CEO of Ontario Creates.
“We’re delighted that with support from our funders we are able to showcase the talents of these amazing creators, especially given the obstacles created by COVID-19, said Frances-Anne Solomon, CEO of CaribbeanTales Media Group, creator of CCI. “It’s our determined mission to continue amplifying the voices of people of colour, and especially women and , who are criminally overlooked in our screen-based industries. We have shown that not only are these stories viable in the global market, there’s an audience that hungers for them.”
A key component of the incubator is that it is led by leading producers of colour from the screen-based industry. This year’s CCI mentors are: CBC’s Director of Inclusion Nick Davis, Floyd Kane (Diggstown), documentary director Chloe Sosa Sims (Dan and Margot) and writer and director Faisal Lutchmedial (Ransom). Funder mentors include: Jesse Wente (Indigenous Screen Fund, and Chair, Canada Council), Tom Hastings (Bell Media), Kathleen Meek
(Corus Entertainment) Chris Bell (Entertainment One) John Galway (Harold Greenberg Fund), Anita Lee (National Film Board), Valerie Creighton (Canada Media Fund) Jon Taylor (IMF), Robin Mirsky (Rogers Group of Funds), and Gosia Kamela (Bell Media).
The Big Pitch winner will benefit from a A Production Prize Pack Worth $13K that includes: $5000 sponsored by Freddie Films towards either a story editor, creative consultant or casting agent to work with the project team.A development meeting with Film Farm producer Simone Urdl (Chloe, The Captive, Away From Her)$5000 in-kind production credit from William F. White International Inc.$1000 in production credits for equipment rental and post production from Trinity Square VideoA movie poster and titles for their final film valued at $2000 courtesy of Chargefield.
As ongoing support, all CCI participants receive Producing Memberships from Trinity Square Video, a Story Editing Package with script analyst and creative consultant Jamie Gaetz, and complimentary technical consultation from William F. White International Inc.
Women of Colour are under-represented in Canada’s screen-based media. According to the 2016 census almost 30% of Canada’s population identify as Black Indigenous or a member of a Visible Minority, and this population is growing due to immigration. Of these, over 50% or 15% of the nation population are women. According to Women in View, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to strengthening gender representation and diversity in Canadian media, in 2017, “1.81% of TV contracts went to WOC. No Indigenous women worked on any of the 24 series studied in 2017.”
Creators of Colour Incubator (CCI)The Creators of Colour Incubator (CCI) (formerly CaribbeanTales Incubator Program) is a year-round development and production hub that supports strong, compelling and sustainable content for the global market. The ultimate goal of the CCI is to increase the pool of world-class culturally diverse film and television content.Now in its 11th year, CCI has hosted over 160 filmmakers from around the world, including: Canada, South Africa, Jamaica, Ghana, France, Cuba, Barbados, Trinidad, Guadeloupe, Antigua, United Kingdom, Dominica, Grenada, St. Lucia, Ethiopia, Guyana, Suriname, Netherlands, the Dominican Republic, Bahamas, Haiti, Zimbabwe, and the USA.The CCI is led by a core faculty of mentors, international industry leaders who are themselves professionals of colour. CCI believes that it is vital that producers of colour receive support from professionals who understand their lived experiences and perspectives.
CaribbeanTales Media Group (CTMG)
CaribbeanTales Media Group (CTMG) is a multi-faceted group of media companies that produces, markets, and sells culturally diverse film and television content from the Caribbean and its wide Diaspora. Founded by award-winning filmmaker, and Academy member Frances-Anne Solomon, CTMG includes: CaribbeanTales Inc a registered Canadian Charity,CaribbeanTales Worldwide Distribution, a film distribution entity,CaribbeanTales International Film Festival, now celebrating 15 years;Caribbeantales-TV, a VOD streaming service; the Creatives of Colour Incubator, a year-round development and production hub, andCaribbeanTalesFlix, its production arm.
In 2014, Frances-Anne Solomon founded CineFAM, to amplify the voices of women of colour creators worldwide – that now includes an annual film festival, a film challenge, and an incubator.
2020 sees the launch of the inaugural Windrush Caribbean Film Festival, a UK-based charity co-founded by CaribbeanTales-UK and many amazing local organizations.Recent award-winning CTMG productions include HERO – Inspired by the Extraordinary Life & Times of Mr. Ulric Cross by Solomon (Trinidad&Tobago/Canada 2019); Caribbean Girl NYC by Mariette Monpierre (Guadeloupe/Canada 2016); Battledream Chronicle – A New Beginning, by Alain Bidard (Martinique/Canada 2016); and Kingston Paradise by Mary Wells (Jamaica/Canada 2014).