Strong lineup expected for Haiti Film Festival
This year’s selection of 21 films, five of which are exclusive New York premieres, will feature provocative and innovative stories of artists in exile, the Haitian revolution, and coming of age. The line-up also includes some powerful shorts that range from experimental social commentary to sharp-witted comedy and an exclusive selection from recent Ciné Institute graduates. Many of the screenings will also be followed by Q & A’s with featured directors and producers.
“As our second annual Haiti Film Festival approaches, we are excited to present New York audiences with the diversity, depth and vibrant spirit of contemporary Haitian cinema,” said Régine M. Roumain, executive director, Haiti Cultural Exchange.
This year’s HCX Haiti Film Fest will kick off on the evening of Thursday, May 9 from 6:00 p.m. to 12:00 a.m. at Drom in the East Village with an exclusive Opening Night Reception. The festive affair will feature screenings of select short films and a special performance by Emeline Michel and music by DJ Zing. With her newly released album Quintessence: The Healing Songs of Haiti, Michel has captivated worldwide audiences for over 20 years, and is considered one of the most talented Haitian songwriters and versatile vocalists of her generation. The Opening Night Reception will be honoring Frantz Voltaire, founder of CIDICHA, for his work in film and archival research.
As a new offering at this year’s HCX Haiti Film Fest, an Emerging Filmmakers Networking Event with a free screening of select short films and industry professional mixer sponsored by Prestige Beer will be held on Friday, May 10 from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at FiveMyles Gallery in Brooklyn. Select short film screenings include Viter Juste, The Father of Little Haiti (2012, 6 Minutes, English) by Rachelle Salnave and Night Driver (2011, 20 Minutes, English) by Fritz Celestin.
2013 HCX Haiti Film Fest Co-Chairs are award-winning filmmakers David Belle and Michèle Stephenson. Members of the 2013 Advisory Committee include Arnold Antonin, Fritz Archer, Marc Baptiste, Patricia Benoit, Jerry Carlson, Edwidge Danticat, Jonathan Demme, Whitney Dow, Guetty Felin, Leslie Fields-Cruz, Curtis Caesar John, Jerry Lamothe, Anne Lescot, Michelle Materre, Easmanie Michel, Tamir Muhammad, Patrick Ulysse and Frantz Voltaire.
Official sponsors of the 2013 HCX Haiti Film Fest include Digicel, Emblem Health, Brooklyn Arts Council, Embassy of Haiti in Washington D.C., Fokal Foundation and The Haitian Times. Media partners include Amour Creole, Radio Soleil, WBAI Radio and Yelp. The 2013 HCX Haiti Film Fest is made possible with public funds from the Decentralization Program of the New York State Council on the Arts, administered in Kings County by Brooklyn Arts Council (BAC).
Community partners of the 2013 HCX Haiti Film Fest include ActNow Foundation, BelTiFi, Black Documentary Collective, CIDICHA, Ciné Institute, The Haitian Roundtable, National Black Programming Consortium, Kiskeácity, New York Women in Television & Film, One Moore Book, Rada Film Group, Reseau Culture Haiti, Soul of Brooklyn/MoCADA, Third World Newsreel and Tribeca Film Institute.
A complete 2013 HCX Haiti Film Fest schedule follows. For more information on the HCX Haiti Film Fest, please visit http://haiticulturalx.org or contact Régine M. Roumain, executive director, Haiti Cultural Exchange at 347-565-4429 or via email at [email protected]. Tickets for the Opening Night Reception are now available for purchase online at http://haiticulturalx.org/program-06.
2013 HCX HAITI FILM FEST SCHEDULE:
THURSDAY, May 9
Opening Night Reception, 6 pm – 12 am
Drom, 85 Avenue A, East Village
Screening of select short films and performance by Emeline Michel and music by DJ Zing. Honoring Frantz Voltaire, Founder of CIDICHA, for his work in film and archival research. Purchase tickets at http://haiticulturalx.org/program-06.
FRIDAY, May 10
Emerging Filmmakers Networking Event & Select Short Films, 6 pm – 9 pm
FiveMyles Gallery, 558 St John’s Place, Brooklyn
FREE screening of select short films and an industry professional mixer. Select short film screenings:
Viter Juste, The Father of Little Haiti (2012, 6 Minutes, English) by Rachelle Salnave
Known as Pere Juste (Father Juste), Viter Juste was a pillar in the Haitian community in South Florida. Father Juste named Little Haiti, a well known neighborhood in Miami, Florida recognized for its enclave of Haitian culture and people. He was instrumental in fighting for the civil rights of Haitian immigrants and contributed to a cultural safe haven for many Haitians who risked their lives to come to America to find freedom.
Night Driver (2011, 20 Minutes, English) by Fritz Celestin
A young man with a dirty job struggles to validate his dreams of becoming a musician. His
growing emotions for a beautiful young prostitute drive him into a dangerous situation where he must make some serious decisions.
SATURDAY, May 11
FREE Screenings, Noon – 10:00 pm
St. Francis College, 180 Remsen Street, Brooklyn Heights
Saturday, May 11, Noon – 2:00 pm
Zafè Fatra (2012, 8 Minutes, Kreyòl with English subtitles) by Kendy Vérilus Exclusive New York Premiere
Today’s Haitian youth are so accustomed to fatra (trash) as the backdrop to their daily lives that they can’t even remember clean streets in urban Haiti. A situation frustrating for many citizens, a group of young musicians are using their talent to urge their communities to clean up.
Port-au-Prince, Ma Ville (2000, 57 minutes, Kreyòl & French with English Subtitles) by Rigoberto Lopez
The documentary highlights the problems that undermine Port-au-Prince, Haiti’s capital: overpopulation, degradation and lack of urban infrastructure. A crossroads of cultures, races and religions, the city occupies a key-role in the history of European expansion in Africa, the Caribbean and the Americas.
** Followed by a Q & A with Kendy Vérilus and Frantz Voltaire **
Saturday, May 11, 2:00 pm – 3:30 pm
Madame TiZo (2004, 64 Minutes, Kreyòl and French with English Subtitles) by David Belle
The documentary tells the story of an extraordinary Haitian elder. While taking care of numerous relatives and neighbors who depend upon her, Madame TiZo (Mrs. Little Bones) simultaneously works as a midwife and leaf doctor for an endless stream of men, women and children who find their way to her yard seeking relief from their maladies.
** Followed by a Q & A with David Belle **
Saturday, May 11, 3:30 pm – 6:00 pm
Everything Absolutely (2013, 12 Minutes, English) by Natalie Paul and Terence Nance
Director Natalie Paul’s first short film follows a young woman on a simple adventure: a date with a guy. Pam Grier, parents, and pesto all somehow find their way into this intimate journey.
Blackout (2007, 95 Minutes, English) by Jerry Lamothe
Starring Jeffrey Wright, Zoe Saldana, Melvin Van Peebles, and Jamie Hector, the film follows the intertwined lives of neighbors in East Flatbush during the blackout of August 2003. As the sun beats down on the city, things heat up in this story of community and circumstance. Blackout premiered at the 2007 Tribeca Film Festival and was awarded the Director’s Spotlight Award at the 2007 Urbanworld Vibe Film Festival.
** Followed by a Q & A with Natalie Paul and Jerry Lamothe **
Saturday, May 11, 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Twa Timoun (2012, 81 Minutes, Kreyòl & French with English Subtitles) by Jonas d’Adesky Exclusive New York Premiere
This film follows Vitaleme, Pierre, and Mikenson, three 12-year-old best friends who live in a
home in Port-au-Prince. Vitaleme is haunted by his memories as a child servant and is obsessed by the idea of freedom. When the town is struck by an earthquake, all three find themselves on the street.
** Followed by a Q & A with Jonas d’Adesky **
Saturday, May 11, 8:00 pm – 10:00 pm
M’ale (2009, 20 Minutes, Kreyòl with English Subtitles) by Kishner Deprinvil
A young Haitian man by the name of Gady graduates college with honors expecting to immediately find a job. However, his homeland is infested with rampant corruption in its political and social institutions. With an unexpected turn of events and a wife and daughter on the verge of starvation, Gady resorts to extreme measures with hopes of taking care of his family.
On the Verge of a Fever / Le Goût des Jeunes Filles (2006, 88 Minutes, French with English Subtitles) by John L’Ecuyer based on a novel & screenplay by Dany Lafferière
In 1971 Haiti, 15-year-old Fanfan lives a somewhat sheltered life with his protective mother. Following a terrifying incident involving a Tonton-Macoute, Fanfan hides out at his beautiful neighbor’s house for the weekend.
SUNDAY, MAY 12
FREE Screenings, Noon – 10:00 pm
St. Francis College, 180 Remsen Street, Brooklyn Heights
Sunday, May 12, Noon – 1:00 pm
Suze-Anne (2012, 15 Minutes, Kreyòl with English Subtitles) by Amiral J. C. Gaspard, Ciné Institute
This short tells the story of a love triangle. Suze’s husband has left her for the young and vivacious Anne. Only Anne can help Suze get him back.
Silent Treatment (2012, 9 Minutes) by Martine Jean
In this 1920 inspired “silent movie”, Loretta catches her husband cheating with another woman and decides to give him “the silent treatment.” Will their love survive his indiscretion?
The Things I See (2011, 10 Minutes, English) by Shirley Bruno
A coming of age drama about an eleven-year-old Matou who pretends to need glasses in order to be “seen.” The eyeglasses get her some attention but her focus begins to shift literally and figuratively. Through the distorted view of the glasses she begins to bear witness to the natural calamities of life.
** Followed by a Q & A with Shirley Bruno & Paula Hyppolite **
Sunday, May 12, 1:00 pm – 3:15 pm
Créer Pour Se Recréer / Creating to Re-Create Yourself (2011, 14 Minutes, Kreyòl/French with English Voice Over) by Marie-Denise Douyon Exclusive New York Premiere
Upon returning to Haiti, internationally acclaimed artist Marie-Denise Douyon was unlawfully detained. This documentary reveals her story, transporting the viewer to a universe, alternately severe, bright, and resounding with emotion.
Wòch Nan Soley/Stones in the Sun (2012, 95 Minutes, Kreyòl, French & English with English Subtitles) by Patricia Benoit
In the midst of increasing political violence, a young couple, two sisters, and a father and son are driven from Haiti to New York, where they must confront the truths of their interlocked pasts. The film won Best Feature at the 2012 Pan African Film Festival.
** Followed by a Q & A with Patricia Benoit **
Sunday, May 12, 3:15 pm – 5:00 pm
Et Après (2010, 12 Minutes) by Maksaens Denis Exclusive New York Premiere
In this experimental film, the strangeness of a half-standing city is captured through scenes of the seemingly endless destruction in Port-au-Prince following the 2010 earthquake.
Broken Stones (2012, 61 Minutes, Kreyòl, French & English with English Subtitles) by Guetty Felin
This documentary takes a look at the oldest neighborhood of Port-au-Prince and the most devastated by the earthquake of January 12, 2010. The film follows the lives of people moving through the maze of the vestige that was once the Notre Dame de l’Assumptionwhich had become an amphitheater & surreal witness of the living conditions of Haitians in the area.
** Followed by a Q & A with Maksaens Denis & Guetty Felin **
Sunday, May 12, 5:00 pm – 6: 45 pm
Anita (2012, 15 Minutes, Kreyòl with English Subtitles) by Ricardo Tranquilin, Ciné Institute
Victor, a peasant, is jealous of the daughter of his brother Samson because she is going to become a doctor. As a result, he kills her with poison. Samson looks for justice, but not finding it among men, he calls on the Gods to speak the truth.
Plezi Gede Credit (2012, 6 Minutes) by Romel Jean-Pierre Exclusive New York Premiere
This experimental piece set in Haiti, fuses performance art and vodou practice into a rhythmic and entrancing film.
Anita (1981, 45 Minutes, Kreyòl with English Subtitles) by Rassoul Labuchin
Young Anita’s life consists of working as a servant to a wealthy family, leaving her little time for anything else. Her servitude (which some would call slavery) provides an insight into a frighteningly common experience for children in Haiti.
** Followed by a Q & A with Romel Jean-Pierre & Rassoul Labuchin **
Sunday, May 12, 6:45 pm – 10:00 pm
Toussaint Louverture (2012, 180 Minutes, Kreyòl & French with English Subtitles) by Philippe Niang
This historical dramatization follows Haitian revolutionary leader Toussaint Louverture who led the first successful slave revolt in world history. Beautifully shot and fraught with intense action, it won Best Film, Audience Choice Award, and Best Actor at the 20th Pan African Film Festival as well as Best Diaspora Feature at the 2012 African Movie Academy Awards.
ABOUT HAITI CULTURAL EXCHANGE
Haiti Cultural Exchange (HCX) was founded in 2009 to develop, present and promote the cultural expressions of the Haitian people. HCX seeks to raise awareness of social issues and foster cultural understanding and appreciation through programs in the arts, education and public affairs. For more information, please visit www.haiticulturalx.org and follow Haiti Cultural Exchange on Facebook and Twitter.
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