Cine Institute Update (6/29/2011)

  • Posted on: 29 June 2011
  • By: Bryan Schaaf
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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.


Dear Friends,


It has been said that Haiti has more artists per capita than any other nation in the world. For proof, look at the stream of hand-painted trucks, signs and advertisements throughout any Haitian city; look at its master artisans who create sculptures, décor and accessories from river stone, mahogany, goat leather, tobacco leaves, cement bags and oil drums; look at its celebrated contemporary artists. Even Haiti's current president, Michelle Martelly, was until recently best-known as a popular singer. Haiti is a nation of artists, and Jacmel is the cradle of Haitian creativity.  Today, Jacmel's artistic sector is at an important crossroads.  Traditional circles of literary and fine art movements are transforming into new sectors of crafts makers, filmmakers, dancers, actors, photographers and musicians. The international creative community is taking notice with influential individuals and institutions collaborating to support the modernization of Jacmel's creative economy.


Following the 2010 earthquake, Ciné Institute moved to a beautiful four-acre campus by the sea and expansion plans are underway to transform it into a full University of Art and Technology.  Our vision for a more broad-reaching program is based upon basic needs (1% of Haitian youth have access to university) and the principals of our success thus far; provide youth with access to entertainment, modern training, and digital equipment to produce creative content for local markets.   We see it as our mission to create new opportunities for Haiti's youth through training in marketable and modern arts and technology. In doing so we foster entrepreneurship and business development in local creative industries.  We strive to support a nation filled with talent, passion, history, rich culture and so much potential.


In July we proudly graduate an accomplished batch of students from Ciné Institute.  They will all go on to work with us through our employment division, Ciné Services.  For more news from the front lines, see below.  Have a happy summer!



David Belle

Founder, Ciné Institute


10 GOURDES FILMS: One day of prep, one day to shoot, one day to edit, and a budget of twenty-five cents for each film. Ciné Institute students produced eighty of these short films in just six weeks. The lessons they learned were to work with locally available resources and to be as efficient as possible.


THESIS FILMS: Two shorts and one feature film are in production by graduating students. These collaborative thesis projects have been in preparation since screenplays were written last fall. Writer/director Frero Pierre is helming the feature . Re-incarnation, writer/director Keziah Jean is in post-production on her film Candela, and Thibaud Jean Shelly and his team just completed shooting Little Haiti. All three films will be released in the fall.   Production of these films was made possible by grants from the Gothenburg International Film Festival Fund and the Katrin Cartlidge Foundation


ST. BARTH FILM FESTIVAL: Institute students Marco Saint Pierre and Djuny Lys Cendra Guillaume brought student films to the latest edition of  the St. Barth Film Festival. At next year's festival we will work with students from the region on a collective short film project. 


NATURALLY HAITI: Ciné Institute's David Belle collaborates with fashion designer Donna Karan to celebrate Haitian artists and artisans in this short film that travels from Jacmel and Leogane, to Petionville and Croix des Bouquets, neighborhoods of Port au Prince.


MASTER CLASS WITH PAUL HAGGIS: The Oscar Award-winning filmmaker gave students an intensive workshop in writing, producing and directing through screening and analysis of his film CRASH.


RISD VIRTUAL EXCHANGE: Rhode Island School of Design's Film Department and Ciné Institute partnered to bring their students together through a virtual video exchange program. Housed on RISD's innovative website, students uploaded call-and-response videos and periodically held group video conference calls.


SUMMER STUDIES IN PARIS AT LA FEMIS: Ciné Institute student Edme Widelande was accepted into La femis, Paris' premiere film school, for an international summer studies program. Her trip was made possible thanks to support from the Embassy of France in Haiti.


HAITI / USA COLLABORATION: Courtney Spence and her amazing Students of the World group traveled to Haiti to collaborate with Ciné Institute students on the production of six short films commissioned by the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund. Following the three-week shoot, the Haiti and USA teams travel together to Austin, Texas to collectively edit the films.


If you would like to support Cine Institute, there are different ways to get involved.  Cine Institute is hiring and can occasionally use volunteers.  Cine Institute also welcomes donations of laptops, video cameras, and still cameras (that are no more than three years old).  In addition, your financial support can:


·Pay a local technical assistant's salary for one month/$150

·Keep the lights on. Fuel our generators for one month/$500

·Grow our editing capacity. Buy a laptop/$1250

·Fund a training workshop/$2500

·Sponsor a student for a semester/$3750

·Buy a new camera package for the school/$4500

·Sponsor a student for a year/$7500


Finally, click here to receive Cine Institute updates by email. 

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