I must say this is shaping up to be quite an attractive, compelling project that we'll be watching closely in 2013, given the talent involved, both in front and behind the camera, as well as the subject matter/story that will be told.
I'm definitey high on this, and look forward to see what develops eventually.
We've learned that, in addition to the already cast Jimmy Jean-Louis, Jamie Hector and S Epatha Merkerson, Garcelle Beauvais, Edwidge Danticat and French actress Stana Roumillac, star of Mariette Monpierre's critically-acclaimed Guadalupean drama Elza (which played in New York earlier this month), are all in talks to join the starring cast of award-winning director Jerry LaMothe's Brooklyn/Haiti-set drama The Promise Keeper.
We've also been told that renowned photographer, Marc Baptiste, has signed to co-produce the film, with casting director Winsome Sinclair handling casting for the project.
Meanwhile, the Haiti portion of the movie will be a co-production with David Belle’s Cine institute, (an organization we've highlighted on S&A) which is operated in Jacmel.
Recapping… The film is described as…
… an suspense drama about two childhood best friends from Flatbush, Brooklyn, that spans over two decades, which showcases the vastly different directions they each takes in life. When one gets deported back to Haiti, the other takes his first ever visit to the island, in search of answers, only months after the tragic earthquake that devastates the country.
Pre-production and casting for the film began last month, on the heels of a good year for Mr LaMothe, who was selected for the 2012-14 ABC DGA Directing Program, as well as being honored as this year's receipient of the Paul Robeson award for best short film (for The Tombs), by the Newark Museum, presented by The Newark Black Museum and Bank of America – a film that was also a finalist for the Saachi & Saachi "Nothing Is Impossible" producers award, at this year's Martha's Vineyard African American Film Festival.
“There are several projects in development about Haiti, but few with the intention of actually shooting there… I’ve been in talks with people and aligning myself with some key individuals from the Haitian community. They’ve been extremely supportive and enthusiastic about the overall plan with the film. I think it will be a great experience for everyone,” LaMothe (who is Haitian-American) says.
Of course, Beauvais can currently be in Flight with Denzel Washington, and will next play the First lady of the USA, opposite Jamie Foxx, in the thriller White House Down.
Edwidge Danticat is currently starring in the acclaimed Haitian drama Stones In The Sun, and an adaptation of her novel, The Dew Breaker, is in development, with Danny Glover, Sophie Okonedo and Chiwetel Ejiofor reportedly to have been in talks to star.
And of course, as noted, Stana Roumillac, currently stars in Mariette Monpierre's critically-acclaimed French-Guadalupe drama Elza.
Co-producer, photographer Marc Baptiste's work has been published in international fashion and lifestyle magazines, from Cosmopolitan US and British version, British and American Elle, Esquire, German Glamour, Harpers Bazaar, Marie Claire, Vanity Fair and more. He has also directed several short films and music videos, with LaMothe's Promise Keeper marking his debut as a feature film producer.
With the film in pre-production and still casting, don't expect to be able to see at a theater near you anytime very soon. There's still a lot of work to be done, so patience.
But while you wait for it to make its debut, why not enjoy LaMothe's last feature-length project – 2007's Brooklyn blackout-set drama titled Blackout, which starred Jeffrey Wright (also one of the film's producers), Zoe Saldana, Melvin Van Peebles, Michael B. Jordan, and others.
The film premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival and was very well received.
Jerry has made it available to watch online for FREE, for those who haven't seen it yet.
I've embedded it below; stay tuned: