Director Frances-Anne Solomon’s acclaimed feature film “HERO: Inspired by the Extraordinary Life and Times of Ulric Cross”, made its U.S. premiere, opening the 26th New York African Film Festival’s (NYAFF) on Thursday.
“We are honoured to be opening this important festival,” says Solomon. “This is a story that resonates with audiences around the world. From his career in the Air Force to his time as a lawyer and judge working behind the scenes in the independence movements of Ghana, Cameroon, and Tanzania, Ulric’s life blazed a trail that inspires us all.”
“HERO” headlines NYAFF’s recognition of the 100th anniversary of the first Pan-African Congress with a showcase of films about Pan-Africanism and global game changers.
“HERO” made its international debut at the 2018 Trinidad and Tobago Film Festival, opening to rave reviews. The film tells the story of one of Trinidad and Tobago’s notable men, Ulric Cross. He is also recognised as the most decorated Caribbean national to serve in the Royal Air Force.
Blending archival footage and dramatic reconstruction, the film focuses on Cross’ contribution to the Pan-African movement, serving as an advisor to President Kwame Nkrumah in Ghana and President Julius Nyerere in Tanzania.
Cross left Trinidad in 1941 to become the RAF’s most decorated West Indian navigator. However, his life took a different course when, along with a number of other notable West Indians, he followed the call of history and joined the Pan-African and independence movements sweeping the world in the ’50s and ’60s.
Since the HERO World tour began in February, the film has continued to receive rave reviews from audiences and critics alike.
“HERO is an electrifying, dramatic motion picture, filled with twists and turns that will thrill audiences across the globe,” said Stephen Weir, Caribbean Camera. “Filmmaker Frances-Anne Solomon …deserves lavish praise for showcasing a historical legend, and for helping to change the negative stereotypical portrayal of people of African descent on the screen.”
HERO boasts an all-star international cast that includes Trinidad and Tobago’s Nicolai Salcedo, in the lead role of Ulric Cross, alongside UK stars Joseph Marcell (Fresh Prince of Bel Air), Fraser James (Resident Evil), Pippa Nixon (John Carter), Canada’s Peter Williams (Stargate SG1), and Ghanaian superstars John Dumelo, Adjetey Anang and Prince David Oseia.
The New York African Film Festival runs from May 30 to June 4.
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