DHA FILM FESTIVAL
Out of Chaos: An Artist's Journey in Haiti
by Pascal Giacomini
Invited by the Ghetto Biennale of Port au Prince, the multimedia artist Pascal Giacomini spends a month in the community of Grand Rue. He works there a month, using only what he can find and recycle to create three large sculptures, exhibited at the end of the festival with local artists. He takes advantage of the experience to show the daily life of the ghetto. He interviews artists, locals and others; and tries to show the source of the amazing Haitian creative energy, which mixes the country’s revolutionary history, voodoo, and the traumatic experience of the earthquake. What prompted artists to turn the gravas into art. It is the happy tale of an indestructible spirit. With the participation of : Eugene André, David Boyer, Jean-Herard Céleur, Don Cosentino, Edwige Danticat, Philppe Dodard, Edouard Duval Carrié, Pascal Giacomini, Jean Baptiste Jean-Joseph, Michèle Manuel, Pascale Monnin, and the Community of the Grand Rue and the Ghetto Biennial.
Directed by Sonia Godding-Togobo
Adopted ID is a gripping film which uncovers the extraordinary journey of Judith Craig Morency. Abandoned at birth, she bravely returns to the nation of Haiti to find her birth parents. From the poverty-stricken families who’ve given up a child to the foreign families looking to adopt one, these disparate worlds collide amid Judith’s quest to solve the puzzle of her past.(www.sgoddingtogobo.com)
La Belle Vie
Directed by Rachelle Salnave
Haitian-American filmmaker Rachelle Salnave's journey to discover her Haitian roots by examining the complexities of the Haitian society as it pertains to the overall political and economic dichotomy in Haiti.
Directed by Tirf Alexius
After the 2010 earthquake, Haiti is in ruins, towns are destroyed, and families have been displaced. Lakay tells the story of two brothers, Alexius and Romeo, who are on a mission to locate and find their loved ones. Drawn back to Haiti by the devastation, these filmmakers reveal the tragedy caused by this natural disaster from an intimate and personal perspective.
Directed by Gloria Rolando
The voices of prominent historians join the memories of Haitians and their descendants in Cuba to understand a chapter of the complex economic and social history of the Caribbean: the presence in the Island of Cuba of thousands of West Indian laborers, especially from Haiti. For many, it was a great bargain of cheap labor. For others, the realization of the dream of every immigrant: make money and return home.
Directed by Michelle Marrion
A short work by Michelle Marrion takes an unflinching look at a restavek enlisted to be a professional ‘crier’ at a funeral for someone she had never met.
A Short Story:
After studying photography and film production at Howard University, Michelle worked on film sets as a cinematographer, lighting and camera assistant and production coordinator on multi-media projects around the globe. She often oscillates between New York and Haiti’s capital, Port au Prince, while working on personal, exploratory projects, directing short films for not-for-profit organizations and working on Sun Don’t Shine, her documentary in progress. In 2012, she directed her first short film, The Stray for UNICEF, addressing the issue of child servitude in Haiti. She hopes to use cinematic storytelling as a platform for awareness and a way to examine and transform life’s universal complexities and challenges.
When the Beat is Drumming
Directed by Whitney Dow
In Haiti, there is one band that’s seen it all: Septentrional. For six decades, this 20-piece band has been making beautiful music – a fusion of Cuban big band and Haitian vodou beats – that turns out thousands of fans each time it plays. At the age of 62, Septentrional has already survived 12 years longer than the expected Haitian lifespan. Led by 80-year-old “Maestro” Ulrich Pierre Louis, its trumpeters, drummers, sax players, and guitarists have played through dictatorships, natural disasters, coup d’états, and chaos, navigating the ups and downs of Haiti’s history. The band embodies a particular Haitian trait: the ability to find beauty in places of darkness.