The Haitian film industry is about to experience a first. An independent, short-feature film, "Addiction", produced by Haitian-American filmmaker, Perri Pierre, is going to be screened for the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) for the 2014 awards ceremony. AMPAS requires a film to be in release for a two-day, two-screening run to qualify. Pierre and Amis Entertainment are partnering with Laemmle Theatres in Southern California to make that happen.
"Addiction" tells the tale of a substance abuser, who wages war with his drug and alcohol demons, while searching for fulfillment in love. Early reports from industry insiders, who have gotten a first look at the film, say the character study of a young man's struggle against the undertow of drug addiction is poignant and compelling.
Great news for stage film buffs! Danny Glover is all set to play the character of the revolutionary Toussaint L'ouverture. For those who do not know about Toussaint L'ouverture, he was a shrewd and a military genius and was the mastermind behind the Haitian Revolution. His act of bravery and intelligence during the revolution is what is believed to have established the independent black state of Haiti and completely abolished slavery.
Danny Glover will star as Toussaint L'ouverture in "Roots of Liberty: The Haitian Revolution and American Civil War". Danny has been working on this film for quite some time and is very excited to have finally nailed down the script and get it off the blocks. This has got a lot of people excited in the stage pageant arena. Director Megan Sandberg-Zakian mentioned that the film would be highly exciting and humbling experience and that it would be great to be in the presence of such a revolutionary figure.
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.
Here is the documentary that you have heard so much about. Assistance Mortelle or Fatal Assistance in English was realized by Hatian filmmaker Raoul Peck. It is an exposé that provides a look at the response of the international community following the January 12, 2010 earthquake in Haiti. This film that made its World Premiere at the Berlin International Film Festival in February, has a duration of 1:45 minutes.
Se dokimantè ou te tande anpil pale sou li. "Asistans Mortelle" te reyalize pa Hatian sineast Raoul Peck. Se yon ekspoze ki bay yon gade sou tranbleman tè 12 janvye 2010 an Ayiti.
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.
Jeux dangereux or Dangerous Game and Le chauffeur or Driver, are the two Haitian films that were officially selected (category Diaspora) for 23rd Pan-African Film & TV Festival of Ouagadougou (aka FESPACO or Festival panafricain du cinéma et de la télévision de Ouagadougou), 2013 that was held during 23rd February till 2nd March 2013 in Burkina Faso of West Africa. Antoine Boseny directed Jeux dangereux while Le chauffeur's director was Jean-Claude Bourjolly.
The finalists for category Diaspora were selected by the jury members Carlos Aguilar from Panama, Asha Lovelace of Trinidad & Tobago, Tanya Valette from Dominican Republic, Beti Ellerson from United States of America and Arnold Antonin from Haiti. Arnold Antonin is himself a filmmaker who won three Prix Paul Robeson of Best Film award at African Diaspora FESPACO in the years 2007, 2009 and 2011.
Toussaint L'Ouverture, modern Haiti's liberator, joined the slave revolt on the island--known then as Saint Domingue--in 1788. A freed slave, who had acquired a fortune, he fought alongside Jean-Jacques Dessalines, Haiti's first president.
Produced by Raoul Peck, the "Toussaint L'Ouverture" film project languished for several years in Hollywood. It finally received the needed funding from Hollywood Unites for Haiti Foundation and was green-lighted. The two-part, three-hour film previewed at Cuba Cinemathique in April 2012. Prior to the screening, the French production was broadcast on French television, where it drew an audience of 3 million.
On the strength of positive reviews, the Embassy of the Republic of Haiti to Cuba and Traveling Caribbean Film submitted it to international film festivals. "Toussaint L'Ouverture" was nominated in several categories in Montréal, Monte Carlos, and Washington, winning The Black Reel Award for Outstanding Foreign Film. It won Best Actor and the Audience Award at the Pan American Film and Arts Festival, and a Best Actor award at the Trinidad and Tobago Film Festival. It also captured Best Diaspora Feature at the Africa Movie Academy Awards.
Jepht Bastien is a Haitian born and raised film maker who has won some of the greatest awards in the industry. He won the Claude Jutra Award for best feature film by a first-time film director at the 31st Genie Awards in 2011. He is thus a very prominent and well known person all over the country who has been able to achieve a great deal of achievements for a person of his caliber.
Jepht Bastien lives in the city of Montreal where he has resided for a long time now. He is however from Haiti where he established an interest in the film making industry and where he was able to raise his talent and grow it to what it is today. It was out of his nurturing of this talent that he has been able to easily make it this far and the reason why he is still able to do so well in this industry.
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