March 10, 2023 | By Sasha Stoltz |
Toronto, ON – CaribbeanTales Media Group (CTMG) is proud to announce the start of principal photography for its new and exciting comedy web series, Garvey’s Ghost.
Packed with both wit and drama, the project is the creation of Showrunner and award-winning Director, Frances-Anne Solomon. It features Canadian icon and National Treasure Mary Walsh as the evil (but loveable) white woman Mrs. Murphy. Actor, writer, comedian, director, activist and mother, Ms. Walsh is best known for creating the role of “Marg Delahunty” a housewife who became famous for buttonholing politicians and submitting them to satirical interviews intended to humiliate them by providing criticism and “grandmotherly” advice. Sometimes Marg appeared as “Marg, Princess Warrior”.
“I am excited to represent the whole of white supremacy and colonialism in this show.” said Ms. Walsh. “It’s a huge responsibility but I’ll try my hardest to do it justice.”
Degrassi’s Richard Walters will play Young Denham Jolly, and The Wire’s Melanie Nicholls-King as Miss Violet Williams.
The star-studded cast also includes Peter Williams as famed Black activist Harry Gairey; actor and critically acclaimed filmmaker, Valerie Buhagiar as the troublesome neighbor Maria; and Jamaican King of Comedy, Owen “Blakka” Ellis, as Marcus Garvey.
The multi-talented artist known as “Blakka” is a writer, educator, director, and comedian, whose legendary career has taken him around the world. He is well known as the “cute” half of “Bello and Blakka“, a comedy duo. One of his best-known works is The Gateman.
“I feel quite intimidated to be absolutely honest with you.” Mr. Ellis confided.
In Garvey’s Ghost, young Denham Jolly arrives in Toronto in 1955…. and rents a room in Miss Violet Williams’ boarding house. As the “Lady President” of the Universal Negro Improvement Association, Violet struggles to keep the organization afloat, ably assisted by the ghost of her mentor, the famed Black leader, Hon. Marcus Mosiah Garvey.
“We are super stoked to bring this incredible cast and never-before-seen world to audiences, in a comedy that will resonate from here in Canada, to the Caribbean and everywhere that Black people live and laugh.” Said Solomon.
The six-part series is supported by the Bell Fund, Ontario Creates and the Canada Media Fund.
It is one of two CTMG projects going to camera this year that are inspired by the 2017 Toronto Book Award-winning memoir of Denham Jolly, one of Canada’s most respected entrepreneurs, activists and philanthropists.
The second is the feature film IN THE BLACK that tells the story of Jolly’s incredible twelve-year struggle to create Canada’s first Black radio station: Flow 93.5 FM.
Funded by Telefilm Canada, the Canada Media Fund, CBC, AfroGlobal Television, Feva TV, Hollywood Suite, and Rogers Cable Network Fund, the Frances-Anne Solomon-helmed movie is produced by critically acclaimed television and theater creator and producer, Nicole Brooks, and co-written with Andrews Burrows-Trotman (The Porter, DiggsTown).
Sphere Media’s Jennifer Kawaja is co-Executive Producer with Jamie Gaetz as Development Executive.
“I trust Frances-Anne Solomon to tell my story with honesty, integrity and the directional creativity she always brings to every project that she touches.” said Denham Jolly.
Yet another exciting project on the CTMG slate is How to be Brown, created by multi-award-winning director Maya Bastian (Tigress, Air Show), and that will be produced by Asis Sethi (Playback Magazine’s 2020 Ten To Watch). Set in the ‘kitschy’ 2000’s, this half-hour comedy series follows awkward “small-town gal”, Leilani, as she leaves the sheltered enclave of white suburbia to find her identity in the big city streets of Toronto.
CTMG Productions has made its name in Canada and abroad as a producer of high quality and entertaining film and television content for, by and about, Blacks and People of Colour. These include the sitcom Lord Have Mercy (2004), feature films A Winter Tale (2008), Kingston Paradise (2013), and HERO: The Extraordinary Life of Mr. Ulric Cross (2019) and the documentary series Heartbeat and Literature Alive (2006-2012).
The accomplished in-house team is led by Frances-Anne Solomon, CEO and Director Member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, and includes Producers Nicole Brooks, Stephanie Tablizo and Maya Bastian, and Development Producers Dahlia Fernandes, Calyx Passailaigue, Kristen Lambie, Daisy Komujuni and Asis Sethi.