Frances has produced independent award winning programming as a producer and presenter to CBC radio and television where she has credits for the documentaries The Enchanted Boundary and The Splitting of the Mind, as well as News Magazine and As It Happens.
Frances credits her Romany heritage with her interest in human rights. After working at BBC and CBC, she became an independent documentary filmmaker, profiling human rights issues for over 30 years. Interviewing first hand experiences and stories from those imprisoned and tortured in Argentina, Chile, Korea and the Philippines.
In Canada her interest in human rights led to directing “The Constitution: News Rights for Women?” and the documentary “Ten Sacred Circles of Life” on native rights that was distributed throughout Canada’s prison system.
Her independent documentaries have been screened in schools, libraries, prisons, churches and communities across Canada. Trained at the BBC in London she continues to maintain commitment to quality and excellence in all that she does.
Here is a selection of productions.
MORE THAN A THOUSAND WORDS (Pre-Production 2016)
The short film, More Than a Thousand Words is written and directed by a talented Nigerian filmmaker, Angelo Onuora who lives in Waterloo. And tells the emotional story of what happens when one of the kidnapped Nigerian Chibok girls arrives in Canada, a child bride of a terrorist. Mute with trauma, who can tell her story, truthfully?
Co-Producer with Commons Studio D-20 production in Kitchener. Studio D-20 is a feminist film collective of young women filmmakers with fascinating stories to tell.
A Gypsy for a Queen (pre-production 2016)
A participant in the Hidden Stories, a digital storytelling program sponsored by Commons Studio. This 5 minute video in a storytelling format tells the unknown and long forgotten story of Queen Victoria’s life-long interest in Romany culture and the Welsh Romany family of Abram Wood.
Waking Up With Frank (2010)
The documentary looks at how the world’s greatest architect Frank Lloyd Wright inspired the character and identity of modern day Guelph. Includes interviews with cultural historian, Gil Stelter, architect Steve Gazzola, author Helen Hoy and novelist/broadcaster Tom King.
First screened in a shortened 5 minute version, Waking up with Frank was featured in Hidden Histories: Secret Stories, the theme for the 2011 Guelph Festival of Moving Images. View documentary prequel.
And Touch the Face of God
Soaring 270 feet in the air, The United States Airforce Memorial’s three rising spires symbolize the conquest by flight over gravity. The design is Architect James Ingo Freed’s who was inspired by watching bomb blast contrails of planes lifting into the air.
A corporate video production for Mariani Metal Fabricators, the leading designer and fabricator of artistic metal architectural structures, including The United States Airforce Memorial situated in Arlington, Virginia.
Tells the story of how one inter-generational family’s health care is enhanced by the electronic health record. A bilingual production for Canada Health Infoway/Inforoute Sante du Canada, foundation of the Government of Canada.
More Than Just a Job
A bilingual educational film that encourages girls to consider qualifying and training for non-traditional jobs — shown through the work experiences of female role models already experiencing success in non-traditional roles.
More Than Just a Job was awarded finalist in the Birmingham International Educational Film Festival and is a multimedia resource for use within Ontario’s high schools. Commissioned by the Ontario Women’s Directorate, Government of Ontario.
Ten Sacred Circles of Life
Native elder, Bobby Woods spent 28 years in the Canadian prison system. He found his way back to healing through his culture and now conducts ceremonies with aboriginal Canadian inmates to help them heal into their true identity and spirituality. Ten Sacred Circles of Life captures these native teachings and is distributed throughout the Canadian Prison system. The United Church of Canada sponsored the video series.
The Constitution: New Rights for Women?
Features the voices and the story of how a group of women led the fight for the rights of women to be included in the Canadian Constitution. Commissioned by L.E.A.F., this production is distributed throughout Ontario high schools.
And Now The Good News
Tells the story of the impact on human rights by development within the third world. Includes interviews of first hand experiences and stories from a union member imprisoned and tortured in Argentina, a Grandmother of May Square (Chile), worker intimidation in Korea and persecution of religious orders working for social justice (Philippines). Commissioned by the United Church of Canada.
A Dialogue on Nuclear Disarmament
A series of interviews with Ursula Franklin, Patrick Watson and Walter Gordon — political, scientific and economic lead raise strong objections towards nuclear warfare.