Iyalode Productions

Iyalode Productions

Iyalode Productions

Leonie Forbes on Indigo Tongues

leonie Forbes indigo tongues

Women in Media Segment – Series 1 Episode 4
Indigo Tongues features Leonie Forbes described as Jamaica’s First Lady of Theater and Film speaks with Indigo Tongues about her life long passion of working in Theater, Film and TV.

This excellent quote describes Ms Forbes and her work.

“Indeed, Leonie Forbes has been the quintessential trailblazer, the little girl from the country who has gone where no other country girl dared go before – professionally, intellectually, and socially – daring to be different along the way, but yet remaining true to herself and her core values, and in so doing, maintaining her status as a torch-bearing exemplar and icon. And failure by her and/or her coterie of friends and/or supporters to record her journey would have been tantamount to an act of cultural matricide” … jamaica-gleaner.com Sept 2012

Ms Forbes International career spans Australia, Canada, India, Jamaica, UK and Trinidad. She started with the Jamaica Broadcasting Corporation (JBC), as one of it’s premier radio on-air voices. After attending the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts (RADA) in London, she returned to the JBC as presenter and TV producer. She pioneered the production of home grown programmes, most notably the first Jamaican Children TV, Ms Lou’s Ring Ding.

Ms Forbes TV and Film credits include Milk and Honey, What Your Mother Told Me, Small Island, A Winter Tale, Passion And Paradise; Lord Have Mercy, and Small Island. She has also won many awards including seven “Actor Boy” Awards (celebrating the very best of Jamaican theater), and nominated for Best Individual performer by the Gemini Awards (Canada’s equivalent of the Oscars) for her role in Lord have Mercy.
Ms Forbes contribution in the arts has also been recognized by the Jamaican Government. In 1980, she was presented with a national “Order of Distinction”. Ms Forbes a mother of four, has rightly earned her place in the Jamaican Hall Of Fame.

About the interview

I read the Shadow & Acts blog regularly and in April 2012, I saw a posting for a Film Festival in Brooklyn at Medgar Evers College, CUNY celebrating the work of Leonie Forbes. I had seen Ms Forbes in several films, TV series’s in the UK, Canada, and Jamaica and I admired her work. Frances-Ann Solomon, a friend and fellow filmmaker, involved in the the festival shot my interview with Ms. Forbes. This was actually the first interview that was conducted for the Indigo Tongue series.

From speaking with Ms Forbes, one can tell that she loves the work she does. She is a fascinating storyteller with lots of stories about her life experiences. She reels off names of people that she had met in the 1950’s and 60’s and I am thinking to myself “oh my, I cant even remember names of folks I met yesterday!”. The interview was a breeze and I enjoyed watching Ms Forbes go into character when she was emphasizing a point.

Interview Date: May 5th 2012
Location: Medgar Evers College, Brooklyn, NY @ Leonie Forbes Film Festival

Creator: Mojisola Sonoiki
Editor: Oluwaseun Sonoiki (Sheffy Productions)
Camera: France-Ann Solomon
Indigo Tongues Logo: Blugge Design Studio
Music Credit:
Nana’s Chalk Pipe – Ernest Ranglin (Jamaica/US)
Miss Lou – Mutabaruka (Jamaica)

Additional Footage
Clips from “Lord have Mercy”, What My Mother Told Me – Frances Ann Solomon
Clips from Ring Ding – (Internet source; National Library Jamaica )
Clips for Milk & Honey – (Internet source; Youtube )

Many thanks to Cy Nakpodia for editing this blog.


  1. My name is Timothy McNarrin of Knox College in Jamaica. I am a Theatre Arts student in grade 10 and I am asking for help to get an interview with Ms Leonie Forbes in order to complete my Theatre Arts School Based Assessment (SBA). Without the interview to complete it, my grade will be seen as ungraded for this subject and I will fail. Thank you for your help in advance

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