An Exciting Look Into the World of Haitian Cinema via the 4th Biennial Haiti Film Fest
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Festivals , Film

An Exciting Look Into the World of Haitian Cinema via the 4th Biennial Haiti Film Fest


The 4th Haiti Film Fest, presented by Haiti Cultural Exchange (HCX), has announced its dates and lineup for the 2017 edition of what has become an exciting and prolific biennial look into the world of Haitian cinema in New York City.

Taking place from May 11 – 14, the festival will kick off with its Opening Night Fundraiser on Thursday, May 11th at Alamo Drafthouse Cinema (445 Albee Square West, Brooklyn, NY) with an after-party at the HOUSE of WAX Museum at the Alamo Drafthouse. There will also be a special evening of selected short films, including a number of films by graduates of the Ciné Institute, Haiti’s only free film school based in the city of Jacmel, as well as the work of creative forces who have made significant contributions to Haitian film and culture.

The night’s honorees are:

— Arnold Antonin: A prolific film director known for his social, political and cultural commitment to Haiti. His filmography includes dozens of titles ranging from documentary shorts to narrative feature-length films that explore Haitian art, culture, and history. He has received many prestigious awards and honors, including the Djibril Diop Mambety award for lifetime achievement at the International Film Cannes Festival in 2002 and the Paul Robeson African Diaspora best film award at FESPACO in Ouagadougoux in 2007, 2009, and 2011.

— Jimmy Jean-Louis: A Haitian film and television actor with an impressive international resume. His Hollywood credits include “Tears of the Sun” with Bruce Willis and Monica Belluci, “Hollywood Homicide” with Harrison Ford and Josh Hartnet, “Monster-in-Law” with Jane Fonda and Jennifer Lopez, and “The Miracle Match” with Patrick Stewart and Gerard Butler. Jean-Louis is well-known for his portrayal of the charismatic Rene “the Haitian” in the hit TV show “Heroes.” He has also played leading roles in many films, including “Sinking Sand” for which he received a Best Actor nomination from the Africa Movie Academy Awards (AMAA) in 2011. Many of his most recent feature roles – in the films “Cargo,” “The Empty Box,” “Everything but a Man,” and “Toussaint Louverture” – explore narratives of Haiti and its Diaspora.

— Rachelle Salnave: A Haitian-American filmmaker whose documentaries cover diverse topics relevant to her communities in the United States and Haiti. Salnave’s film about the gentrification of Harlem, called “Harlem’s Mart 125: The American Dream” won Best Documentary at the 2010 African World Documentary Film Festival. After the release of her second feature length film, an exploration of her Haitian roots called “La Belle Vie: The Good Life,” the General Consulate of the Republic of Haiti in Miami honored her a Beacon of Hope and Achievement Award during International Women’s Month in 2015. Salnave is also the founder of Ayiti Images, a traveling film series that features Haitian films and their directors with support from entities including the Knight Foundation and Green Family Foundation.

Michelle Materre, Associate Professor of Media Studies and Film at the New School, who is currently on the Haiti Film Fest Advisory Committee, shared this about the festival: “I’ve been proud to be part of the Haiti Film Fest since its inception. I look forward to the festival every season to find new work from talented Caribbean filmmakers whose work always offers a unique perspective and one that we don’t see enough of. The staff at the Haiti Cultural Exchange are an amazing group, whose hard work and commitment to the festival is evident every year.”

Below is the full Haiti Film Fest 2017 lineup, featuring a number of films previously covered on this blog, and several that are new which we’ll highlight in future posts, leading up to an during the festival.

The films of Arnold Antonin – “Faiseur de Fanaux”; “Courage de Femme; “Benita et Merina”; “Herby, le Jazz et la Musique Haitienne”; “René Depestre, On Ne Rate Pas Une Vie Eternelle”

Christie Karolane Augustine – “Carpediem”

Steven Baboun – “The Last Haiti: The Moving Portraits”

Pierre Lucson Bellegarde – “Toussaint Louverture, miroir d’une société”

Owsley Brown – “Serenade for Haiti”/”Serenade pou Ayiti”

Shirley Bruno – “Tezin” ; An Exclusive Sneak Peek

Jacquil Constant – “Haiti Is A Nation Of Artists”

Mario L. Delatour – “De Kiskeya à Haiti: mais où sont passés nos arbres?”

Edouard Eloi & Shalom Gorewitz – “Elegy for Stivenson Magloire”

Guetty Felin – “Ayiti, mon amour”

Miquel Galofre & Tyler Johnson – “My Father’s Land”

Feguenson Hermogène – “La déchirure”

Jean Jean – “Si Bondye vle, Yuli”

Rosario Lacroix – “Valiz La”

Jerry Lamothe – “Taking Chance”

Marc-Eddy Loriston – “Haitian Son”

Richard Louissaint – “Baldwin’s Prophecy”

Michelle Marrion – “Les pleureurs”

Easmanie Michel – “Minutes to Say Hi”

Pedro Ruiz – “La dérive douce d’un enfant de petit-Goave”

Claudia Sainte-Luce – “The Empty Box”/”La caja vacía”

Richard Sénécal – “El Violinista”

André M. Zachary – “See(ah)”

Ticket information for the Opening Night Fundraiser can be found here.

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