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 to Indigenous First Peoples inmates.
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.
WATERSHED WRITERS (2021)
Watershed Writers with Tanis MacDonald is a radio documentary series featuring interviews with an exciting mix of local fiction writers, novelists, poets, authors, playwrights and essayists. The show offers from a wide range of genres, an outreach opportunity and a lively showcase of a community of well-known writers as well as up-and-coming writers. Watershed Writers is interested in writers who are often largely ignored by or left out of mainstream media.
Executive Producer is Frances Roberts Reilly. Podcasts, author profiles and video are available at Watershedwriters.ca
Watershed Writers is broadcast bi-weekly on Midtown Radio KW on Saturday mornings at 10.00am
WOMEN’S CHRISTMAS: Nollaig na mBan (2020)
In Ireland, January 6th is Nollaig na mBan (pronounced Null-ug na Mon), which means “Little Christmas“, which is also known as “Women’s Christmas“: The custom is to celebrate of the women of Ireland for working tirelessly during the holidays by having the men handle all the housework and cooking. This special program featured amazing stories about strong Irish women, past & present, with “great Celtic music & craic too.” A one-hour radio documentary. Producer: Frances Roberts Reilly Host: Frances Roberts Reilly & Margaret O’Shea Bonner. Editor Martin de Groot.
Ten Sacred Circles of Life
Cree 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 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 who 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 raise strong objections towards nuclear warfare.
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.
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 Cana