Trinidad and Tobago: Trinidad + Tobago Film Festival (TTFF) looked at the husband and wife pioneer duo Edric & Pearl Connor on January 9, 2023.
According to the information shared by the TTFF, Edric Connor left Trinidad in 1944 to study engineering in England, but within weeks he appeared on the BBC radio programme Calling the West Indies. He went on to appear in numerous television productions, including the popular television series The Avengers and two episodes of Danger Man.
It further informed that Connor was Britain’s first black film director. He also acted in many well-known Hollywood and British productions, including Cry, the Beloved Country (1952), directed by Zoltan Korda and featuring the young Sidney Poitie, Moby-Dick (1956), and Fire Down Below (1957), which was filmed in T&T. He went on to form Edric Connor Films and completed two shorts: Caribbean Honeymoon (1960), which showcased the beauty of the Caribbean, and Carnival Fantastique (1960), which was filmed during the 1959 Carnival in Trinidad and played a significant role in introducing the carnival arts to Britain at a time when there was major racial prejudice in Britain.
The social media post added that Pearl initially trained under Beryl McBurnie at the Little Carib Theatre. In 1948 she met and later married Edric. In 1956, the couple opened the Edric Connor Agency, which Pearl later ran as the Afro-Asian-Caribbean Agency. The agency was also involved in co-producing or distributing some of the groundbreaking films in black British and Caribbean film history, especially Carnival Fantastique (1959), The Harder They Come (1972), Horace Ové’s films King Carnival (1972) and Pressure (1975), and Smile Orange (1976), and was known for advocating for a larger percentage of black performers in the British entertainment industry.
While concluding the post about the couple, Trinidad + Tobago Film Festival said that Edric died in 1968, and in 1971 Pearl married Joe Mogotsi, leader of South Africa’s famous vocal group, the Manhattan Brothers. She continued her work until her death in 2005. She is a recipient of the Humming Bird Medal (silver) for outstanding services to the immigrant community in the U.K. and the National Black Women’s Achievement Award for Entertainment and Arts in Britain.