Archive: HCX | Haiti Film Fest 2013

HCX | Haiti Film Fest 2013 is a wrap!


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The second international HCX | Haiti Film Fest (May 9-12) is officially over. Take a look below for a recap of the festival and information on where to watch or buy some of the films from the Film Fest line-up!

And remember to fill out the Official HCX | Haiti Film Fest Survey!

The presence of voices from across the Haitian Diaspora and from Haiti really contributed to enhancing this celebration of Haitian cinema. Haitian and non-Haitian filmmakers from the United States, Haiti, Canada, and Belgium joined us for 4 days of films and events that used the medium of film to tell a myriad of stories and present issues facing Haiti and its people.

Drom, an eclectic music venue in Manhattan’s East Village, buzzed with excitement on Thursday, May 9th at the Haiti Film Fest Opening Night event. Film Fest co-chairs, Michèle Stephenson & David Belle set the tone for the evening, welcoming guests and discussing the importance of sharing Haitian stories with a larger public.  Deputy Borough President Rose Pierre-Louis presented Haiti Cultural Exchange with a Proclamation recognizing its contributions to the community and award winning journalist, Michèle Montas, introduced documentary filmmaker and archivist, Frantz Voltaire as this year’s Haiti Film Fest honoree. Following a screening of Silent Treatment by Martine Jean, Plezi Gede Credit by Romel Jean-Pierre, and Suze-Anne by Amiral J.C. Gaspard of the CINE INSTITUTE, Emeline Michel took the stage for an intimate performance which included songs from her newly released album Quintessence followed by a spin session with DJ ZING aka Paul Beaubrun of Zing Experience.

On Friday, May 10th the festivities moved to FiveMyles Gallery in Crown Heights, Brooklyn for the Emerging Filmmakers Networking Event, hosted by Jerry LaMothe & Easmanie Michel. Following select shorts screenings, the audience was encouraged to mix and mingle at this laid back evening event. The night offered a valuable opportunity for film industry professionals attending the festival to exchange information and ideas outside of the screenings and Q & A’s slated for the rest of the weekend.

On May 11th and 12th, the weekend line-up featured 19 films and 8 Q & As with filmmakers, actors and producers. The screenings took place at Founder’s Hall at Saint Francis College in Downtown Brooklyn. The first screening block featured the New York premiere of Zafè Fatra by Kendy Vérilus and Port-au-Prince, Ma Ville co-produced with Haiti Film Fest Honoree Frantz Voltaire. The two of them joined us for a post-screening Q & A that brought up deep rooted issues of the impact of NGOs in Haiti and how Haiti must restructure in hopes of a positive future. Their discussion set a tone for many of the discussions and screenings to follow. On Sunday, the critically-acclaimed award-winning Wòch Nan Soley/Stones in the Sun by Patricia Benoit screened followed by a discussion with the filmmaker herself. In response to a question of what her motive for making the film might be, Benoit responded that she wanted to use these individual characters to capture the feelings of displacement and present how memories of violence impact how one lives in the now.

The HCX | Haiti Film Fest would not have been possible without the immense support and effort of our members, staff and volunteers. A special thank you to the HCX | Haiti Film Fest Advisory committee, our volunteers, sponsors, community & media partners, and of course the filmmakers! Lastly, this event would not have been a success without YOU!  Thank you for your support and presence.

View photos from Opening Night and the weekend’s events & screenings.

Also, read Defend Haiti’s review of the festival.

Many of you who attended were interested in purchasing copies of the films we screened. Unfortunately, many of the films are yet to be released to the public via the big screen or on DVD.

Here is a list of films that are available for sale to the public:

Anita (1981, 45 Minutes, Kreyòl with English Subtitles) by Rassoul Labuchin

Young Anita’s life consists of working as a servant to a wealthy family, leaving her little time for anything else. Her servitude (which some would call slavery) provides an insight into a frighteningly common experience for children in Haiti.

Blackout (2007, 95 Minutes, English) by Jerry LaMothe

Starring Jeffrey Wright, Zoe Saldana, Melvin Van Peebles, and Jamie Hector, the film follows the intertwined lives of neighbors in East Flatbush during the blackout of August 2003. As the sun beats down on the city, things heat up in this story of community and circumstance.

Available for purchase online (plus s+h).

Créer Pour Se Recréer / Creating to Re-Create Yourself (2011, 14 Minutes, Kreyòl/French with English Voice Over) by Marie-Denise Douyon
Exclusive New York Premiere 

Upon returning to Haiti, internationally acclaimed artist Marie-Denise Douyon was unlawfully detained. This documentary reveals her story, transporting the viewer to a universe, alternately severe, bright, and resounding with emotion.

Watch it online in French or English.

Et Après (2010, 12 Minutes) by Maksaens Denis
Exclusive New York Premiere

In this experimental film, the strangeness of a half-standing city is captured through scenes of the seemingly endless destruction in Port-au-Prince following the 2010 earthquake.



On the Verge of a Fever / Le Goût des Jeunes Filles (2006, 88 Minutes, French with English Subtitles) by John L’Ecuyer based on a novel & screenplay by Dany Lafferière

In 1971 Haiti, 15-year-old Fanfan lives a somewhat sheltered life with his protective mother. Following a terrifying incident involving a Tonton-Macoute, Fanfan hides out at his beautiful neighbor’s house for the weekend.

Available for purchase online (plus s+h).

Below are the other screened films that are not yet on sale to the public: 

Anita (2012, 15 Minutes, Kreyòl with English Subtitles) by Ricardo Tranquilin, Ciné Institute

Victor, a peasant, is jealous of the daughter of his brother Samson because she is going to become a doctor. As a result, he kills her with poison. Samson looks for justice, but not finding it among men, he calls on the Gods to speak the truth.


Broken Stones (2012, 61 Minutes, Kreyòl, French & English with English Subtitles) by Guetty Felin

This documentary takes a look at the oldest neighborhood of Port-au-Prince and the most devastated by the earthquake of January 12, 2010. The film follows the lives of people moving through the maze of the vestige that was once the Notre Dame de l’Assumption which had become an amphitheater & surreal witness of the living conditions of Haitians in the area.


Everything Absolutely (2013, 12 Minutes, English) by Natalie Paul and Terence Nance

Director Natalie Paul’s first short film follows a young woman on a simple adventure: a date with a guy. Pam Grier, parents, and pesto all somehow find their way into this intimate journey.



Madame TiZo (2004, 64 Minutes, Kreyòl and French with English Subtitles) by David Belle

The documentary tells the story of an extraordinary Haitian elder. While taking care of numerous relatives and neighbors who depend upon her, Madame TiZo (Mrs. Little Bones) simultaneously works as a midwife and leaf doctor for an endless stream of men, women and children who find their way to her yard seeking relief from their maladies.


M’ale (2009, 20 Minutes, Kreyòl with English Subtitles) by Kishner Deprinvil

A young Haitian man by the name of Gady graduates college with honors expecting to immediately find a job. However, his homeland is infested with rampant corruption in its political and social institutions. With an unexpected turn of events and a wife and daughter on the verge of starvation, Gady resorts to extreme measures with hopes of taking care of his family.


Plezi Gede Credit (2012, 6 Minutes) by Romel Jean-Pierre
Exclusive New York Premiere 

This experimental piece set in Haiti, fuses performance art and vodou practice into a rhythmic and entrancing film.



Port-au-Prince, Ma Ville (2000, 57 minutes, Kreyòl & French with English Subtitles) by Rigoberto Lopez

The documentary highlights the problems that undermine Port-au-Prince, Haiti’s capital: overpopulation, degradation and lack of urban infrastructure. A crossroads of cultures, races and religions, the city occupies a key-role in the history of European expansion in Africa, the Caribbean and the Americas.


Silent Treatment (2012, 9 Minutes) by Martine Jean

In this 1920’s inspired “silent movie”, Loretta catches her husband cheating with another woman and decides to give him “the silent treatment.” Will their love survive his indiscretion?




Suze-Anne (2012, 15 Minutes, Kreyòl with English Subtitles) by Amiral J. C. Gaspard, Ciné Institute

This short tells the story of a love triangle. Suze’s husband has left her for the young and vivacious Anne. Only Anne can help Suze get him back.



The Things I See (2011, 10 Minutes, English) by Shirley Bruno 

A coming of age drama about an eleven-year-old Matou who pretends to need glasses in order to be “seen.” The eyeglasses get her some attention but her focus begins to shift literally and figuratively.

For upcoming screenings visit Shirley Bruno’s website.


Toussaint Louverture (2012, 180 Minutes, Kreyòl & French with English Subtitles) by Philippe Niang

This historical dramatization follows Haitian revolutionary leader Toussaint Louverture who led the first successful slave revolt in world history. Beautifully shot and fraught with intense action, it won Best Film, Audience Choice Award, and Best Actor at the 20th Pan African Film Festival as well as Best Diaspora Feature at the 2012 African Movie Academy Awards.


Twa Timoun (2012, 81 Minutes, Kreyòl & French with English Subtitles) by Jonas d’Adesky
Exclusive New York Premiere

This film follows Vitaleme, Pierre, and Mikenson, three 12-years-old best friends who live in a home in Port-au-Prince. Vitaleme is haunted by his memories as a child servant and is obsessed by the idea of freedom. When the town is struck by an earthquake, all three find themselves on the street.

Wòch Nan Soley/Stones in the Sun (2012, 95 Minutes, Kreyòl, French & English with English Subtitles) by Patricia Benoit

In the midst of increasing political violence, a young couple, two sisters, and a father and son are driven from Haiti to New York, where they must confront the truths of their interlocked pasts. The film won Best Feature at the 2012 Pan African Film Festival.


Zafè Fatra (2012,  8 Minutes, Kreyòl with English subtitles) by Kendy Vérilus
Exclusive New York Premiere

Today’s Haitian youth are so accustomed to fatra (trash) as the backdrop to their daily lives that they can’t even remember clean streets in urban Haiti. A situation frustrating for many citizens, a group of young musicians are using their talent to urge their communities to clean up.

HCX | Haiti Film Fest Advisory Committee

Michèle Stephenson & David Belle, Co-chairs of HCX | Haiti Film Fest Advisory Committee

Arnold Antonin • Fritz Archer • Marc Baptiste • Patricia Benoit • Jerry Carlson
Edwidge Danticat • Jonathan Demme • Whitney Dow • Guetty Felin • Leslie Fields-Cruz
Curtis Caesar John • Jerry Lamothe • Anne Lescot • Michelle Materre • Easmanie Michel
Tamir Muhammad • Patrick Ulysse • Frantz Voltaire


HCX | Haiti Film Fest Sponsors



         QcDrapeau_2color    afropop-LOGO lacayelogo
 amourcreole  radiosoleil wbai_logo Yelp_logo

st francis    Prestige

HCX | Haiti Film Fest Community Partners

ActNow Foundation | BelTiFi | Black Documentary Collective | Brooklyn Chamber of CommerceCaribbean Cultural TheaterCIDICHA | Ciné Institute| Fleurimond CateringThe Haitian Roundtable | KiskeácityNational Black Programming Consortium | New York Women in Television & Film |One Moore BookRada Film Group | Reseau Culture Haiti | Soul of Brooklyn/MoCADA | Third World Newsreel | Tribeca Film Institute

The 2013 HCX | Haiti Film Fest is made possible with public funds from the Decentralization Program of the New York State Council on the Arts, administered in Kings County by Brooklyn Arts Council (BAC).




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