Kelley Kali's Award-Winning Short Film 'Lalo's House' To Screen At Cannes Short Film Showcase Co-Sponsored By Viola Davis
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Kelley Kali's Award-Winning Short Film 'Lalo's House' To Screen At Cannes Short Film Showcase Co-Sponsored By Viola Davis

Student Academy Award winner and Shadow And Act RISING Award winner Kelley Kali has had her short film, Lalo's House accepted by Cannes for their 2019 Diversity in Cannes Showcase.

Kali announced news about the honor on Instagram, writing that the showcase is sponsored in part by JuVee Productions, Viola Davis and Julius Tennon's production company.

"There were hundreds of submissions and they only chose 14 films to showcase," she wrote online.

Lalo's House takes on the heavy topic of sex trafficking. Set in Haiti, the short film follows 14-year-old Manouchka (Jasmin Jean-Louis) and her five-year-old sister Phara (Kyra Rose) who are kidnapped and forced into a prostitution network that fronts as a Catholic boarding school. Manouchka develops a plan to escape with her sister and find their way back home.

Kali told S&A's Aramide A. Tinubu that her film was based on real events. "I was in Haiti before the earthquake in 2010. I was studying children's rights and living conditions with my anthropology background. Then the earthquake happened and I went back to help," she said. "While I was there, I caught wind of this 'Catholic' orphanage, where the nun was allegedly allowing foreign men to come in and [sexually assault] the children. As I started to investigate that over the years, I found that she was more like a mafia queen. People in the village that I interviewed were absolutely petrified of her. They said that she's killed people who've interfered with her business before."

The film also stars Garcelle Beauvais, who also backed the film through her and her producing partner Lisa L. Wilson's company Beauvais Wilson Productions. Beauvais also introduced the project to Jamie Foxx, who contributed $25,000 to the project.


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Kelley Kali and Jasmin Jean-Louis | Photo Credit: Courtesy of Kelley Kali 

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