The award recognises a film artist who has achieved success in the Canadian and International film industry despite all challenges. Previous recipients include Bollywood star Shabana Azmi and famed Aboriginal actor Graham Greene.
Known as Jamaica’s First Lady of Theatre and Film, Leonie Forbes began her career training at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts in London. Her talent, drive, and dynamism have established her as one of the Caribbean’s most respected artists.She has received many awards including: the Order of Distinction from the Jamaican government; the silver and bronze Musgrave (top awards of the arts, culture and science in Jamaica); and the Institute of Jamaica’s Centenary Medal.
Ms. Forbes has graced the silver screen in major Hollywood pictures, performed in dozens of theatrical productions, and has worked as a radio broadcaster and programmer in Jamaica. Her selected credits include: “Old Story Time”, “Arawak Gold”, “Champagne and Sky Juice”, and “Smile Orange”. Her film and television credits include: “Shattered Image”, “Milk and Honey”, “Passion and Paradise”, “What My Mother Told Me”, and “Children of Babylon”.
Ms. Forbes’ latest role is in Frances-Anne Solomon’s “A Winter Tale”, which will open the ReelWorld Film Festival on April 11th.
In 2003, Ms. Forbes starred in the Caribbean-Canadian sitcom “Lord Have Mercy” for which she was nominated for a Gemini Award in the category of Best Actress in a Comedy or Drama.
“Ms. Forbes has been an inspiration to actors and artists all over the world… especially black actresses and people of Caribbean decent. Her exceptional body of work is one of the key reasons we chose her this year,” says ReelWorld founder, Tonya Lee Williams.