The principal entertainment that we will address in this section are Movies and comedies. There are many talent Haitian individuals performing in there areas. Some of them have reached the international level
Daniel Fils-Aimé, aka Tonton Bicha, was born in 1973 in the town of Cap-Haitien. As a boy, he joined Young Catholic Patriots Company where he developed his comedic timing. A handsome, young, and refined man of 32 offstage, he is a human cannonball onstage. His character, Tonton Bicha, is a 72 year-old farmer, who dresses in natty peasant attire, and sports white bushy eyebrows and a mustache.
He walks onstage spouting his trademark lines in Créole. A born clown, he is kinetic and juvenile, his jokes side-splitting. The audience's roaring laughter eggs him on with more ridiculous behavior that has people nearly falling out of their seats. In one bit, he strips down to his shorts and struts and poses like he is the sexiest man alive. He easily outshines other comedians on the bill. But it is hard to resent him when they are doubled-over with laughter.
Fernel "Jesifra" Valcourt is a Haitian-comedian legend. Born in Cap-Haitien, he began training in the performing arts at an early age, and recognition for his theatre work catapulted him to national prominence soon. He has been so revered for his natural talents, Tonton Bicha regards him as a motivating force that drove him to seek a career in comedy.
Valcourt's humor strikes a universal chord, and has made him a celebrated figure among the Haitian Diaspora and younger people as well. His comedy is slapstick-based, and he engages in sly risqué jokes that have audiences laughing knowingly. He uses his stage persona, Jesifra, to delight and take jabs at authority figures like President Martelly. His trademark sound bites have the audience laughing before he even gets to the punchline.
Kako Bourjolly is one of Haiti's top comedians, whose show, Kako's Bingo Night, is one of the most popular acts on the comedy-club scene. People think he is an overnight sensation, but he has been performing as a comic for the last 20 years.
In the beginning, he founded a comedy troupe with three other comedians and experienced his first taste of success. Every single show they performed at sold out. The demand to see Kako grew so strong; a second show had to be added. He recalls the only reason he didn't become well-known in the States was because he only performed part-time, too busy with his day job to devote more time. Kako though finally decided to take the leap into comedy full-time. And he has succeeded beyond his wildest dreams, Kako's Bingo Night being the proof.
Europe, and its newsworthy happenings, has never been so close. Canalsat, the direct broadcasting service which operates in the Francophone Caribbean announced recently that it would now be broadcasting Euronews, a multi-lingual TV news station which originated in France, within the Caribbean. The new deal means that Euronews will become available on Canalsat Caribbean's basic line-up.
The deal should prove lucrative to both parties as Euronews benefits from Canalsat's Caribbean market and Canalsat has the distinction of hosting one of the most unique news stations around in more of their market. Now, people in the French Antilles, which includes Martinique and Guadalupe, Haiti, the Dominican Republic and French Guyana can enjoy Euronews' singular format where the news is told almost exclusively through video footage explained by voice-overs. They rarely use in-vision reporters and are known for their lack of an anchorperson or studio.
Saturday May 18, 2013, the streets of Downtown Miami came alive with the singular Haitian musical beats of compas. A musical style with its beginnings well over a century ago, compas (kompa, konpa) took over the Klipsch Amphitheater at Bayfront Park with its sonorous beat and piercing, often provocative lyrics. The celebration took place on the Haitian Flag Day in the middle of May, the month designated as the Haitian Heritage Cultural Month. The tickets went on sale for anywhere from $35 to $100, and the '21 and over' age restriction shows just how rowdy, or at the least, suggestive, a compas festival can get.
Hosted by DJ Griot, who's held the post for 13 years, the show featured the Haitian Diva, Emeline Michel, Belo, Carimi, NuLook, Ambiance, controversial group, Brothers Posse, and Djakout, the headline act, among others. The festival's person for public relations, Mia Lopez Flynn, didn't downplay the show's significance to the success of a compas act. She called it a '...platform where... bands are tested.' Success or failure to command the compas festival's stage could make or break an act's career.
Haitian storyteller Maurice Sixto began life in Gonaïves in 1919. Born into privileged circumstances, son of an engineer, he studied at elite Sainte Louis de Gonzague High School and pursued a legal career at University of Haiti. While there, he fell into journalism working at Le Matin. He then taught English in the Republic of Congo, and was attached to the diplomatic service in Paris.
However, Sixto's greatest contribution to Haiti were his gifts as raconteur. Using his skills as a voice actor, he developed characters to address social ills hounding Haitian culture. One controversial topic of his satires was the unspeakable practice of child slavery, known as restavék. Restavék means servant, unfortunate children who end up as slaves when their families can't care for them. Farmed out to wealthy families to work, they suffer physical, mental, and emotional abuses.
Following is a list of some of Haiti's most revered and/or prolific filmmakers and their filmic output:
Arnold Antonin, Albert Mangones, Art Naif and Repression in Haiti (1976), Can Sculpture Save the Village of Noailles (2009), Haiti, le Chemin de la Liberté (1973), Heby, Jazz, and Haitian Music (2012), Jacques Roumain, the Passion for a Country (2008), Six Exceptional Women (2012), TIGA: Haiti, Dream, Creation, Possession, Madness (2006)
Vladimir Thelisma, Double Jeu ((2001), Couloir de L'amitié (2010), Destin Tragique (2006), Les Couleurs de la Dignite (2006)
Richard Seneca, Barikad (2003), I Love You Anne (2005), I Love you Anne 2 (2005), Reginal Lubin, La Peur D'aimer, Pouki se Mwen
Haitians are rabid movie-goers. Their frequent forays to attend movies has enabled the Haitian film industry to keep producing topical films on pressing social concerns as well as lighter fare. Because Haitians are going to see film in droves, it has allowed the Haitian film industry to steadily increase the amount of product they make, currently a dozen full-length films annually.
Haiti ties with Cuba as the Caribbean regions' most prolific film making country. This is possible because of inexpensive hand-held video cameras, capable of producing quality screen pictures. The cost of an average full-length film costs approximately $40,000.
Fabrique des Cinémas du Monde has eventually unveiled, during Cannes Film Festival, its latest edition's project lineup. The aim of Fabrique des Cinémas du Monde that was launched in 2009, is to find financers who can finance the works of different filmmakers from developing countries. Fabrique is located in Cannes' Cinéma du Monde pavilion and is a result of a joint initiative by Audiovisuel Extérieur de la France and Institut francais.
The project lineup for Fabrique des Cinémas du Monde 2013 include The Sigbin Chronicles by Joanna Arong and The Siren of Faso Fani by Michel K. Zongo. While Joanna's work is hovered around mythical Filipino creature, Zongo's work covers the impacts on a town called Burkina Faso because of the closure of its textile factory.
Haitian Raoul Peck, documentarian and feature-filmmaker, began life in Port-au-Prince in 1953. A few years later, François Duvalier's reign began, creating fear in Haitians and causing many to leave and reside elsewhere. Peck's family moved to the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) where they lived for the next quarter-century. Peck studied in the DRC and the U.S., his interests drawing him to journalism and photography, but he earned his film degree in Berlin.
As documentarian, Raoul Peck produced and directed before entering feature filmmaking. He achieved early success with 1993's "The Man by the Shore", which became an official entry at Cannes that year. Then Peck received unprecedented global recognition for his film "Lumumba" in 2000. His subsequent film, "Lumumba--Death of a Prophet", grabbed Best Documentary award at Montréal in 2002. He has also received many awards for directing attention to human-rights abuses in his film work. Human Rights Watch bestowed two Lifetime Achievement Awards on him in 2001 and 2003.
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