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Award Winning Filmmaker Frances-Anne Solomon Presents “HERO” Film

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April 07, 2022 – (Toronto, ON) “HERO” the raw and inspirational story inspired by the life and times of Ulric Cross (Philip Louis Ulric Cross) is returning home.   The Frances-Anne Solomon film made a triumphant & highly anticipated return to Trinidad & Tobago (T&T) with a Gala Red Carpet Screening, April 7, 2022 , that streamed live on the twin republic’s national station TT Live Online  The never seen before “new Director’s Cut” version of “HERO” screened at Movie Towne in Port of Spain before opening in cinemas nationwide. The film is produced by CaribbeanTales Media Group and Imagine Media International Limited with support from Telefilm Canada

 

Republic Bank Limited is “HERO’S T&T Gala Platinum and Presenting Sponsor, as part of their ‘Power to Make a Difference program.’  Republic Bank’s Manager, Nigel Baptiste says, “HERO” tells a story about an ordinary man enduring the pain of obstacles and finding the strength to persevere. Mr. Cross found the power within him, the power to succeed and champion his way through arduous times. This awe-inspiring movie acts as a blueprint on how we can use resilience to overcome life’s many challenges.”  

                                                          

“HERO” inspired by the remarkable and adventurous life of Ulric Cross, created a buzz in Hollywood when it opened the 2020 Pan African Film and Arts Festival, coming on the end of a successful 50-city tour of England, Scotland and Wales, with additional screenings in Durban, the US and Canada’s Bell TIFF Lightbox.  “HERO” was picked up by Amazon Prime, Showtime, Showtime Online and Cineplex.com in Canada before heading to the Cannes Film Market. The demand kept coming, even as cinemas closed around the world & life for filmmakers drastically changed due to the pandemic.  “HERO” will be making its Netflix debut this Spring.  

 

We had to switch gears immediately to the virtual space and build on the momentum that existed.  Everyone wanted the film. I felt so pleased to see the reaction of people from all walks of life around the world.” 

                                                                                                Frances-Anne Solomon, 

                                                                           Director member of the Academy 

                                                                               HERO’ss Director 

 

HERO’s worldwide appeal comes from a wide cross-section of society, those committed to social change, the academic and the adventurer, the embodiment of Ulric Cross, a true hero.  A story of love, loss, rejection, and redemption, laid out meticulously by Frances-Anne Solomon. By the brilliant use of archival footage mixed with shot drama, Frances-Anne tells Cross’s story with authenticity and dignity. This film celebrates resilience, so appropriate for this time. Fans have been waiting, calling, and messaging, when is “HERO” returning?” … Executive Producer, Lisa Wickham. 

 

HERO was filmed in Canada, Ghana, the United Kingdom and Trinidad and Tobago. It was brought to life through an international cast that includes, TrinidadNickolai Salcedo in the lead role of Ulric Cross, Peter Williams (Stargate SG1), British actor Joseph Marcell (Fresh Prince of Bel Air), Jimmy Akingbola (The Fresh Prince of Bel Air Reboot) and Ghanaian stars John DumeloAdjetey Anang and Prince David Oseia 

 

Financial support for “HERO” came from ordinary individuals committed to this inspirational story, as well as agencies such as Telefilm Canada, The Government of Trinidad and Tobago, Canada Council of the Arts, the Ontario Arts Council, Sports and Culture Fund, FilmTT, National Gas Company, NLCB and the Trinidad and Tobago Civil Aviation Authority. 

  

Frances-Anne Solomon 

A Trailblazer in the film and television industry, Frances-Anne Solomon is an award-winning writer, producer, director, curator and distributor in film, television and radio. She started her professional life at the BBC in England before relocating to Canada where in 2001, she founded the CaribbeanTales Media Group. The group produces, exhibits, and distributes Caribbean-themed content from around the world.  Frances-Anne’s work as a director includes feature films What My Mother Told Me, Peggy Su! and A Winter Tale, and the series Lord Have Mercy, and Heartbeat. Her most recent film Hero: Inspired by the Extraordinary Life & Times of Mr Ulric Cross has won many international awards and is currently available on platforms worldwide..  Solomon is a  Director member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS), the Directors Guild of Canada, and BAFTA.   

 

About CaribbeanTales Media Group 

CaribbeanTales Media Group (CTMG) is a multifaceted group of media companies that produces, markets, and sells culturally diverse film and television content from the Caribbean and its wide Diaspora. Founded by Frances-Anne Solomon, CTMG includes: CaribbeanTales Inc., a registered Canadian Charity, CaribbeanTales Worldwide Distribution, a film distribution entity, the CaribbeanTales International Film Festival celebrating 16 years, CaribbeanTales-TV, a VOD streaming service, the Creators of Colour Incubator, a year-round development and production hub, and CaribbbeanTalesFlix, our production arm. In 2014, Frances-Anne Solomon founded CineFAM, to amplify the voices of women of colour creators worldwide. In 2020, the Windrush Caribbean Film Festival launched, a UK based charity co-founded by CaribbeanTales-UK. 

  

  

About Imagine Media International Ltd:  

Imagine Media International Limited is a full-service, production Company, based in Trinidad and Tobago and South Africa. Founded by award-winning, Producer-Director & Media Personality Lisa Wickham, the Company creates content across all media platforms. Imagine Media has developed and coordinated projects in Europe, North America, Africa, and several Caribbean countries, working on projects for agencies such as Warner Brothers/COMPLEX, ITV-UK, VIACOM/VH1, Hungry Eyes Media, Canada, MTV-UK and Bobbcat Films, TV-One and BET in the US.

Watch “HERO” Trailer:

https://vimeo.com/283811851

Follow “HERO” Movie:

INSTAGRAM: @hero_film

TWITTER: @hero_film
FACEBOOK: hero4alltime
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Newly acquired winger Daniel Sprong wants to keep evolving with Vancouver Canucks

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VANCOUVER – Daniel Sprong’s road through the NHL has been a winding one.

After signing a one-year contract with the Vancouver Canucks, the 27-year-old scoring winger is looking to make his latest destination more than a pit stop.

“I’m hoping Vancouver’s not just one year,” Sprong said in a video call Monday. “I can see myself being there long term and that’s really what excited me.”

The Canucks did not release the value of the contract, but multiple reports have pegged it at US$975,000.

Vancouver will be the sixth NHL team Sprong has played for since he was drafted in the second round by the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2015.

The six-foot, 195-pound forward registered 18 goals and 25 assists in 76 appearances for the Detroit Red Wings last season. He’s also had stints with the Penguins, Anaheim Ducks, Washington Capitals and Seattle Kraken.

Heading into free agency this summer, he felt confident.

Sprong admitted he was surprised when the market opened on July 1 and the right offer didn’t surface.

“It’s kind of a wake-up call, but at the same time, I think it’s also good motivation and kind of put some fuel to the fire,” he said.

Eventually, Vancouver made its bid and a phone call with Canucks head coach Rick Tocchet sealed the deal.

“There were other teams but I felt the most comfortable and happiest with Vancouver when I talked on the phone and that made my decision very easy at the end,” he said.

Tocchet, who won the Jack Adams award as the league’s top coach last season, has history with Sprong, having worked with him as an assistant bench boss in Pittsburgh.

Sprong’s also familiar with Canucks president of hockey operations Jim Rutherford and general manager Patrik Allvin, both of whom were in the Penguins’ front office when he was drafted.

“They drafted me, they’ve believed in me from the second I got drafted,” he said.

“I think since then, I’ve matured a lot, I think my game has developed. There’s still a part of my game that I want to fix. We talked about that on the phone, how we’re going to work on it, improve in that area. And that’s only going to lead to bigger opportunity and, hopefully, more success for the team and myself.”

Born in Amsterdam, Sprong and his family moved to Montreal when he was seven so he could have more opportunities in hockey. He was a standout for the QMJHL’s Charlottetown Islanders, leading the team with 88 regular-season points and another 11 in playoffs.

The jump to pro hockey hasn’t always been easy.

While he’s contributed 85 goals and 74 assists over 344 regular-season NHL games, Sprong has averaged 11:57 in ice time.

A lack of situational trust from coaches may have impacted how he has been used in the past, the winger said, noting that his defensive game hasn’t always been strong.

“We’re going to work on it in Vancouver to gain the trust and be reliable in those situations,” he said. “I’m working on it over the summertime to work on those details.”

Sprong’s scoring touch will complement a Canucks offence that already boasts the likes of centre J.T. Miller, who finished last season with 103 points, and right-winger Brock Boeser, who registered 40 goals.

In addition to working on his defensive game, Sprong said he’ll be sharpening his shot this summer to keep up his offensive output.

“I think it’s not just working on your weaknesses, it’s working on your strengths so you keep evolving as a player. And I think over time I’ve done that,” he said.

“And there’s still things I want to fix. And I think if I fix those things, there’s only positives and better outcomes.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 22, 2024.



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Dodgers’ lefty Paxton designated for assignment as Ryan makes debut

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LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Los Angeles Dodgers made a surprising change to their evolving rotation Monday.

Veteran James Paxton of Richmond, B.C., was designated for assignment to make room for River Ryan on the 40-man roster. Ryan made his major league debut Monday night against the San Francisco Giants, becoming the 14th pitcher to start for the Dodgers this season.

Paxton was tied with Gavin Stone and Tyler Glasnow for most starts on the team with 18. The veteran left-hander was 8-2 with a 4.43 ERA.

The 35-year-old Paxton signed a US$7 million, one-year contract during the off-season. He allowed two runs over five innings in Sunday’s 9-6 victory against the Boston Red Sox.

Los Angeles manager Dave Roberts said with the return of Glasnow and Clayton Kershaw from injuries this week along with some young arms the Dodgers want to look at, it was tough finding a fit for Paxton the rest of the way.

“It was a difficult decision. He handled it like a pro,” Roberts said. “We feel good about the starting staff going forward.”

Glasnow, who went on the injured list July 9 due to back tightness, will be activated and start on Wednesday. Kershaw is scheduled to make his first start of the season Thursday in the series finale after working his way back from off-season shoulder surgery.

Even with the returns of Glasnow and Kershaw, the Dodgers are still missing Walker Buehler (right hip inflammation) and Yoshinobu Yamamoto (right rotator cuff).

Buehler will throw a bullpen Tuesday before making a couple of minor league rehab starts. Yamamoto isn’t expected back until possibly late August.

Justin Wrobleski and Landon Knack are two of the younger pitchers the Dodgers want to see more. Knack will start Tuesday night.

With the July 30 deadline looming, the Dodgers are likely to find a trade partner for Paxton. Los Angeles has seven days to trade, release or send him outright to the minors — an assignment he would have the right to decline in favour of free agency.

Roberts’ bigger concern might be with the bullpen. Roberts indicated he is likely to go with a closer-by-committee approach due to Evan Phillips’ recent struggles.

Phillips has allowed 10 runs (nine earned) in his last eight appearances and has an 11.05 ERA since June 30. He gave up three runs in one-third of an inning on Sunday against Boston.

“For me, the command is just a little bit off. Over the past couple weeks, he was one pitch away from having a good outing,” Roberts said about Phillips. “We need him to be good, and it’s our job to get him back to being who he is.”

AP MLB:

The Canadian Press. All rights reserved.



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Colombia’s president signs bill to ban bullfighting in the South American country

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BOGOTÁ, Colombia (AP) — Colombian President Gustavo Petro on Monday signed a bill that bans bullfights in the South American country, further reducing the short list of nations around the world where the centuries-old tradition is still legal.

Petro signed it in front of hundreds of animal rights activists during a ceremony held in Bogota’s bullring, after a supporter in a bull costume handed him a copy of the legislation.

“We cannot tell the world that killing living and sentient beings for entertainment is culture,” Petro said in a speech after signing the bill. “That kind of culture of killing an animal for entertainment would also lead us to killing human beings for entertainment, because we are also animals.”

The bullfighting ban was approved by Colombia’s Congress in May, after months of heated debates.

The bill calls on the government to completely ban bullfights across the nation by 2027, and orders the government to turn more than a dozen bullrings into cultural and sporting venues.

Bullfights have been held in Colombia since Spanish colonial times. But the popularity of the sport has declined in recent years as views on animal rights changed.

Bullfighting aficionados in Colombia argue the ban violates the rights of minorities to express their cultural heritage. They add that it also jeopardizes the livelihoods of those who make a living from bullfighting, such as matadors, event promoters, merchants and ranchers who specialize in breeding the aggressive and muscular animals used in bullfights.

On Monday, pro bullfighting groups launched a social media campaign in support of the tradition, saying the bill was approved without the support of Colombia’s labor ministry. Supporters have also said they will challenge the law in Colombia’s Constitutional Court.

Only seven countries now allow bullfights: Spain, France, Portugal, Mexico, Venezuela, Ecuador and Peru. However, some municipal and regional governments within those countries have imposed local bans.

Petro has been an opponent of bullfights since he was Bogota’s mayor. In 2012, he repealed a city contract that allowed bullfighting event promoters to use the city’s bullfighting arena.

Animal rights activists in Colombia had been lobbying Congress to ban bullfights for two decades, often losing key votes by narrow margins. But in May, they finally pushed the ban through with the help of legislators from Petro’s Historical Pact Party and with votes from some members of centrist and conservative parties.

“For many years we have staged protests, we have lobbied congress and we have tried to win the hearts of Colombia’s people,” said Chucho Merchan, a vegan activist and musician who spoke at Monday’s event. “So that in this country that has so much violence, we can give an example that it is possible to evolve towards a world with more justice, that is free of cruelty.”

The Canadian Press. All rights reserved.

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