Award-Winning Actress Nia Long, HBO’s Director to Watch Frank E. Flowers and Micro-Sculptor Willard Wigan to be honored at the 2009 Caribbean Heritage Salute to Hollywood & the Arts
LOS ANGELES – Caribbean Heritage Organization (CHO) and the Institute of Caribbean Studies, DC (ICS-DC) are pleased to announce that actress Nia Long, director Frank E. Flowers and micro-sculptor Willard Wigan will be honored at its 2009 Salute to Hollywood & the Arts at UCLA’s Kerchoff Plaza on Saturday, June 27, 2009.
A portion of the proceeds will help support Camp Crescent Moon, a camp for children with sickle cell disease. Sickle Cell Disease Foundation of California www.scdfc.org
The daughter of immigrants from the twin islands of Trinidad & Tobago, Nia Long is one of America’s most talented, prolific and versatile actresses of screen and television. Her first notable role was as Kathryn “Kat” and Speakes on the soap opera Guiding Light. Long is best known for her role as Will Smith’s girlfriend and fiancée Beulah “Lisa” Wilkes on The Fresh Prince of Bel Air. She has appeared in numerous television and movie roles including Boyz N the Hood, Friday, Made in America, Soul Food, Big Momma’s House, Third Watch, Kanye West’s “Touch the Sky” and most recently Big Shots. She won a NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series in 2004 for her performance on Third Watch. She was listed in among People’s most beautiful women in 2000.
Frank E. Flowers hails from the tiny Caribbean island of Grand Cayman. At 17 years old, he left his home to pursue screenwriting at the University of Southern California. Passionate to explore the characters and prevalent social issues of the West Indies, he made his debut in 2003 with the short film SWALLOW. Based on a student at his high school in Grand Cayman, the film chronicled the story of a teenage drug mule and toured the festival circuit, culminating its run with the HBO Short Film Award at the 2003 American Black Film Festival.
HAVEN marks his feature debut, taking the commitment of telling West Indian stories even further by becoming the first feature film to be shot entirely in Grand Cayman. Haven premiered at the Toronto Film Festival and features a prestigious ensemble cast including Orlando Bloom, Bill Paxton, Anthony Mackee, Raz Adoti, Victor Rasuk and Zoe Saldana. He has also directed music videos for Grammy award winners Ziggy Marley and Damian “Jr Gong” Marley.
Frank E. is currently writing a remake of the 1981 military drama Taps with an eye to directing for Twentieth Century Fox and New Regency.
British-born micro-sculptor Willard Wigan wants the world to know that one can be successful in spite of learning disabilities. Jeered and teased by teachers and fellow students as being stupid and dumb, Willard Wigan’s dyslexia went undiagnosed most of his childhood. His Jamaican parents urged him to find something that he was good at and encouraged him to pursue it.
British-born micro-sculptor Willard Wigan wants the world to know that one can be successful in spite of learning disabilities. Jeered and teased by teachers and fellow students as being stupid and dumb, Willard Wigan’s dyslexia went undiagnosed most of his childhood.
His Jamaican parents urged him to find something that he was good at and encouraged him to pursue it. Like many with learning disabilities, he has surpassed all expectations.
He has evolved as the creator of the world’s smallest sculptors.
Made between heartbeats, Willard Wigan’s work fits in the eye of a needle or on a pinhead and
can only be seen through a microscope. In 2007, HH Prince Charles presented him with the MBE (Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire) for services to the art. His clients include Queen Elizabeth II, HH Prince Charles, Sir Elton John, Mike Tyson, David Lloyd, to name a few.
Wigan’s work will be on tour for the first time in the United States starting June 2009 in Los Angeles.