Cine Institute Releases Spring 2009 Student Videos
Many interesting films have been made about Haiti - but comparatively few of them have been made by Haitians. Someday, this may change. Jacmel's Cine Institute, the only film school in Haiti, is teaching students how to make documentaries, films, and even commercials. Donations help to keep the tuition free. These initial efforts may be short, but they could represent the first steps in the careers of a new generation of Haitian film-makers. Below are links to and summaries of the 2009 Spring Semester films.
Carnival in Jacmel: Carnival in Jacmel is a wild ride. Get into it out get out of the way! This project is an assembly of stories by the Cine Lekol students during the 2009 Carnival. It includes interviews with teachers, the carnival queen, performance artists, and dancers as they get ready for the festivities. Best of all is the footage of the carnival celebrations. This video made me want to book travel for next year's Carnival. The students were instructed by Jonathan Stack who teaches documentary production. Funding for the project was provided by Jan Vrijman Fund and HCD Media Group.
Lavi Dwol (A Strange Life): This short film is about two laborers living day to day. One spends his money on lottery and women while the other focuses on finding work. Both need all the luck they can get.
Tambou Maryaj (Wedding Drums): This short film revolves around a young girl from a wealthy family with a passion for Haitian drumming and dancing. Her parents prefer that she focus on “civilized” dances like ballet instead of traditional Haitian dances. This creates tension within the family, with the neighbors, and within herself.
MC-C: A short film about a conflicted teen from a tough part of town. He informs the gang he belongs to he wants to pursue theatre and dance instead of rap, and is scorned by them. He develops a relationship with another man but no matter how far away he goes, he fears that he will be found. Note: The title is a play on the word “Masisi” which means a homosexual male in Kreyol.
Chimen Glisse (Slippery Slope): A short film about a con artist who swindles money from several people in order to place a bet at the gage (cock fight). His luck runs out when the stolen rooster he bets on loses.
And there are two videos from the 2008 Fall Semester as well.
Miss Body Plastic: What makes a person beautiful – their body or their dreams? This short film revolves around a young woman who dreams of winning a beauty pageant one day, so that she can accomplish something significant in her life.
The Bouncing Ball: This short film opens with a vodoun ceremony and the tracing of a veve for Ogoun, the spirit of conflict. As a rara band performs, a young woman is possessed by Ogoun. She is later able to use her connection to the spirit to help save the life of hey boyfriend, but in return, she must become a vodoun priestess.
If you liked these films, be sure to leave feedback for the students who made them.