The Ciné Institute, which recently moved to a new campus five miles west of Jacmel, is devoted to developing Haitian film-makers. During the first year, students are immersed in all aspects of filmmaking such as narrative, advertising, music videos and documentary. In the second year, students specialize in screenwriting, directing, producing, cinematography, sound, editing or production design. Recent clients include Arcade Fire, BET, Brandaid Project, Brasserie Nationale d'Haiti, The Clinton Foundation, Google, Medicos del Mundo, and USAID. Below is an update from Founder David Belle and links to new films produced by Cine students.
Two years ago, we posted a blog about a documentary under development entitled Strange Things (Bagay Dwol). Directed by Alexandria Hammond, Strange Things follows the lives of three street children in Cap Haitian over three years. The film has since been completed and screened at dozens of film festivals. An abbreviated version of the documentary entitled “Children of Haiti” will have its national broadcast premier Tuesday, January 11th, at 10:00 PM as part of the PBS Independent Lens Series. It will include updates on the main characters and address challenges facing homeless children in post earthquake Haiti.
The Cine Institute is Haiti's only film school. Its students have produced everything from commericals to documentaries. The Institute, which is in Jacmel, took heavy losses during the earthquake but continued to operate. The students produced video reports, assisted visiting journalists, and helped distribute relief supplies. Click here to see video clips of the students in action and reporting on the earthquake's consequences for Jacmel. As Annie Nocenti, a Cine Institute instructor puts it, "We were a film school until yesterday. Our new mission is to do recovery stories...hopefully stories of Haitians rebuilding." Below is a thank you letter from the Institute to its partners.
The publicity surrounding Haiti's political instabilities and poverty are known to the media, yet the country's children are often missing from the images and minds of the world. Strange Things, a Hamm Production documentary, follows the lives of several orphaned, homeless and impoverished children in the streets of Cap-Haïtien. The documentary is an honest portrait, through the street kids' eyes, while describing their stories of survival. Interviews with local residents recount why and how over 300,000 of Haiti's children are left to survive poverty on their own. When you ask a child on the streets of Haiti "What's up?" they say "Bagay Dwol" - strange things.