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Archive: An n’ Pale | Café Conversation with actor Gessica Généus



Our first An n’ Pale | Café Conversation in Haiti was held on Febraury 27th, 2014 to a crowded theater of eager fans. Gessica Généus sat with Executive Director Régine M. Roumain to talk about her life in the film industry. The event held at FOKAL, allowed the audience to take a look at the young actor’s career. Gessica discussed her experience working in Haiti and the struggles and triumphs of a country with a powerful body of creatives that lacks the appropriate resources and support. She described working on Les Amours d’un Zombi by Arnold Antonin and how his process was so different because of the social and political implications of the film to Haitians and how the crew dynamic was so much more intimate than on her other film shoots abroad.

Click here to listen to our An n’ Pale | Café Conversation with actor Gessica Généus provided by Chokarella. (In Kreyol)

Gessica explained her appreciation for film as a medium because she felt it has the power to capture human nuance. Unlike stage, where one must be expressive enough for the audience to see and thus feel what’s going on all the way from the back of a theater, the camera offers a closeness that captures even the slightest emotion.

This closeness is something you can sense inside of Gessica, from her genial attitude towards the audience to her deep love of her country. As an actor that has been featured on screens abroad and holds undoubted talent that is well suited for cross-over, Gessica leans heavily on her Haitian heritage and seeks to continue to work in her country to promote cultural pride and the arts.

Her latest project, which puts her behind the camera rather than in front of it, is a mini-documentary series called Vizaj Nou. Through four vignettes, Généus reaches into these well-known artists’ backstory – an opportunity for them to share memories and instances that helped shape them.

Gessica previewed the first short documentary which featured playwright, poet, and visual artist Frankétienne. Shot on a rainy day in his home in Bel Air, Gessica tells the story of his spite-fueled transition from last to first in his class and how it triggered in him the need to stay that way — to fight and evolve for who he knew himself to be.

When asked why she selected artists from an older generation for the series, she replied that she feels the element of age plays a factor, these artists have a sense of urgency in their words, that there is something they want to say, that they must pass on.

For young artists seeking to stay inspired and creating, especially when it seems like too tough a road to traverse, Gessica says to seek out others — share your frustrations, creativity, and aspirations to keep motivated and inspired.

A special thank you to FOKAL for collaborating on our first ever HCX program in Haiti and to Chokarella and Carel Pedre for broadcasting our An n’ Pale | Café Conversation live during the program.

We look forward to screening the Vizaj Nou series as part of Selebrasyon! NYC’s festival of Haitian Arts & Culture, May 18- June 30th.

This An n’ Pale | Café Conversation took place on February 27, 2014 at FOKAL in Port-au-Prince.

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April 4: Haiti Impunity: A Visual Account with Frantz Voltaire


Frntz v film screenJoin filmmaker and founder of CIDIHCA, Frantz Voltaire, for a discussion on the impact of impunity on Haiti’s political culture.

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Archive: An n’ Pale | Café Conversation with filmmakers Rachèle Maglorie & Chantal Regnault


March 15, 2014photo

Since 1996, the United States has implemented a policy of repatriation of all foreign residents who have been convicted of crimes. As a new life begins for these deportees in an environment that is completely unfamiliar and quite hostile, filmmakers Rachèle Magloire & Chantal Regnault decided to document the stories of Haitian outcasts: the deportees from North America.  Winner of the Best Documentary & Human Rights Award at the 29th International Film Festival Vues d’Afrique and at the Festival Régional et International du Cinéma de Guadeloupe, Deported follows the lives of American and Canadian deportees now living in Haiti.

Rachèle traveled from Haiti and Chantal from Paris, as part of our An n’ Pale|Café Conversation series, for the NY Premiere of the film.  Haiti Cultural Exchange in collaboration with the Brooklyn Public Library’s Stevan Dweck Center for Contemporary Culture screened the film which was followed by a lively discussion on immigration policy and advocacy with the filmmakers.

“Deportees are generally frowned upon. And at many times, the highest authorities have associated them with waves of crime in the country. It has reinforced the sense that the deported citizens are actively involved in Haiti’s criminal life.” – Rachèle Magloire

Because of sentiments shared by public officials linking deportees to the rise of kidnappings in the early 2000s, the filmmakers credit the Haitian public’s fear with a distorted image of deportees and their needs.

Activist Joceyln McCalla joined the filmmakers to discuss what current efforts are being made to assist this invisible community. Organizations like Alternative Chance/Chans Alternativ  are working to bring deportees much needed legal, medical, and rehabilitation assistance.

Watch the trailer HERE.

For more information about the film and an in depth interview with the filmmakers, visit


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Archive: An n’ Pale | Café Conversation with multi-instrumentalist Leyla McCalla


Photo Credit: Jocelyn McCalla

Photo Credit: Jocelyn McCalla

Celebrating the launch of Leyla McCalla’s debut album, Vari-Colored Songs: A Tribute to Langston Hughes, HCX collaborated with BRIC’s Stoop Series, to co-present An n’ Pale|Café Conversations. To a packed house of over 150 people, Leyla regaled the audience with renditions of Haitian folk songs such as Mèsi Bondye, Manman Mwen & Latibonit as well as arrangements based on Hughes’ poems. Leyla’s music is a blend of Haitian and New Orleans folk music coupled with her distinct vocals and noted talent on the cello.

Following the inspired performance, Leyla and HCX Executive Director, Régine M. Roumain, discussed McCalla’s current tour, experiences abroad, her upbringing, and the work that went into creating her first album.

When asked about research for the album, Leyla mentioned listening to Alan Lomax’s recordings, a 10 disc and two book boxed set collected during his 1936-37 trek through Haiti, and meeting with her parents to discuss songs, their meaning, and working with her father to translate the songs from Haitian Creole.

Currently residing in New Orleans, Leyla continues to be inspired by the music of the region and collaborates with local musicians to create her unique sound. A rising young artist on the scene, Leyla is becoming increasingly well known as her work continues to receive outstanding reviews. We are thrilled to have been a part of this evening!

Take a look at some photos from the conversation & performance here.

Purchase McCalla’s debut album, Vari-Colored Songs: A Tribute to Langston Hughes, can be purchased here.

This An n’ Pale | Café Conversation took place on February 11, 2014 at BRIC in Brooklyn.

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