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A ‘hero’ for Africa

Ulric Cross and CLR James played by Nickolai Salcedo and Joseph Marcell.

There is quite some talk around a film being premiered at the Durban International Film Festival 2019 (DIFF), which runs for 10 days, from July 18 to 28.

It’s called Hero and is inspired by the remarkable life and times of Trinidadian war hero, judge and diplomat, Ulric Cross.

The critically acclaimed feature film was written, directed and produced by award-winning filmmaker, Frances-Anne Solomon, and has been well received in Trinidad and Tobago, Canada, the US and the UK.

Now the story of a true pan-African hero is coming to South African shores.

Hero beautifully crafts Cross’s extraordinary story and lasting impact on world history, from being recognised as the most decorated West Indian Pilot of WWII to his remarkable influence in the fight for liberation across Africa.

The film spans the dynamic and transformative times in which he lived. It is the untold story of those Caribbean men and women, who helped to liberate Africa from Colonialism.

“The film resonates with audiences around the world. From his career in the Royal 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,” said Solomon.

Filmed across the UK, Trinidad, Ghana and Canada, Hero features an international cast of celebrated black actors including Trinidad and Tobago’s Nickolai 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.

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Overseas critics have raved about Hero, calling it ‘an electrifying, dramatic motion picture, filled with twists and turns that will thrill audiences across the globe’.

And commending Solomon by saying she deserves lavish praise for showcasing an historical legend, and for helping to change the negative stereotypical portrayal of people of African descent on the screen.

Solomon, who was raised in the Caribbean, and lived and worked in the UK and Canada, is a producer, curator and entrepreneur in film, TV, radio and new media.

After a successful career as a TV drama producer and executive producer with the BBC in the UK, she launched the Caribbean Tales Media Group in Canada and Barbados. Hero, which is produced by her company, is her third feature film as a director.

The film’s Pan-African theme is befitting its South African premiere at DIFF and will resonate with South African audiences.

Because as Solomon so succinctly said, “Ultimately, the story is about us. About who we are as African people, and as citizens of the world.”


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