The annual film festival, spanning two days and featuring 7 shorts and 3 feature films, showcases positive images of the Haitian culture through film and art.
The 5th Annual Haiti International Film Festival features two panels. Our Producers Panelists are Dominique Telson and Janae Desire. The Creatives Panelists are Karen Civil and Jean Elie.”— Jacquil Constant, Executive Director for Haiti International Film Festival.
The pandemic halted the traditional way to attend film festivals worldwide in 2020. The 5th Annual Haiti International Film Festival (HIFF) joins the new “normal” to move online and continue to support Haitian filmmakers by taking the event virtual on August 15 and 16, 2020 from noon to 6 p.m PST on Xerb.TV. HIFF will be hosted by Actor Bechir Sylvain, the 2019 HIFF Emerging Leader Honoree and community activist from Moun Lakay. Tickets start at $10 to watch one film, $20 for the Festival Day Pass, and $40 for a 2-day VIP Pass.
HIFF is a niche film festival that specializes in portraying the humanity of the Haitian culture through the curation of quality films with authentic narratives from the Haitian Diaspora. Considered as the HBO for Haitian films, HIFF was established in 2015 and is a non-profit corporation with a 501(c)(3) status. The mission is to showcase positive images of Haitian culture through film and art.
“For the past 3 years, the festival was held at the Barnsdall Gallery Theatre in Hollywood, California. For the first time ever, we will live stream our Festival,” said Jacquil Constant, Executive Director for HIFF. “It is critical that we continue to showcase our filmmakers, especially at this moment in our history when the black community is rising up. People need to see and hear our voices represented through film.”
Viewers from around the world can log on to Xerb.TV to watch HIFF’s exciting line up of 7 shorts, 3 feature films, panels, and the Haitian Diaspora Award. This year, HIFF features two panels. On Saturday, August 15 at 12 p.m. is the Producers Panel with Dominique Telson and Janae Desire. The Creatives Panel, on Sunday, August 16 at 12 p.m., will be led by Karen Civil and Jean Elie.
“We are excited to announce our 2020 Haitian Diaspora Award Honoree is Christine Ntim,” said Constant. Ntim. an award-winning Haitian-American and Ghanaian, known as a startup ecosystem expert for emerging markets. She was selected and featured in Forbes 30 Under 30, AdAge 40 Under 40, Most Influential People of African Descent 40under40, and more.
“The film festival serves as a platform to connect the Haitian Diaspora Film Community to Hollywood,” said Constant.” To its credit, HIFF’s film selections include award-winning films starring world-renowned actors such as Jimmy Jean-Louis and prominent directors such as Guetty Felin whose films have received digital distribution on streaming platforms such as Amazon, Hulu, and Urban Movie Channel.”
“It is amazing how technology and storytelling can connect diverse communities worldwide during these uncertain times,” said Constant who was recently honored with the 2020 Caribbean Cultural Innovator Award by myKEEtv, the premier Caribbean TV and magazine in Los Angeles, Canada, and Jamaica.
Line-Up, Show Times and Running Times:
Saturday, August 15, 2020 from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. PST
12 p.m. – “Producers Panel” with Dominique Telson, Producer for Astute Films and Janae Desire, Producer and Executive, Media Finance with Creative Artists Agency (CAA).
Panel discussions followed by Shorts
1 p.m. – Going Back Home (Lakay) Short Film Block
Brooklyn to Benin- Directed by Regine Romain- 7:28
Junior- Directed by AJ Wilhelm- 11:35
Rasin- Directed by Pierre Lucson Bellegarde- 21:36
Feature film selections:
2 p.m. – Out Of Chaos is a documentary about an artist’s journey in Haiti. A place where an artist is born every day. Directed by Pascal Giacomini- 1 hour
4 p.m. – In Search Of Voodoo: Roots to Heaven weaves together a personal, cultural, and spiritual journey-capturing the vibrant tales of Voodoo, West Africa, and Benin’s son, actor Djimon Hounson. 1 hour
Networking to follow screenings from 6 PM – 8PM
Sunday, August 16, 2020 from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. PST
12 p.m. – “Haitian Creatives Panel” with Karen Civil, a Social Media Strategist and Media Maven, and Jean Elie, an actor and filmmaker. He is known for his role in the HBO series, “Insecure.”
Panel discussion followed by Shorts
1 p.m. – Haitian Diaspora Short Film Block
ID- Directed by Gustave Cadet- 8:49
Delivered- Directed by Tara Nichols- 6:02
Lost and Found- Director by Desmyre Volmeus- 15:56
The Acquittal- Director by Yves Beneche- 15:41
Feature film selection:
3 p.m. – Desrances, starring Jimmy Jean-Louis. Francis looks forward to the birth a son, his heir, and the last descendant of the DESRANCES family and his son is captured and will he find him. Directed and written by Apolline Traore- 1 hour and 35 mins
Networking to follow screenings from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
“We look forward to this virtual film festival platform that will allow us to reach a wider audience this year, both nationally and internationally,” said Constant.
To interview Jacquil Constant, filmmakers, and actors, or to request media credentials, contact Marie Y. Lemelle for Platinum Star Public Relations at 213-276-7827.
About the Haiti International Film Festival (HIFF)
The annual film festival has showcased more than 30 films by Haitian filmmakers and supporters of Haiti at the Historic Barnsdall Gallery Theatre in Hollywood, California. HIFF has featured documentaries, short films, and narratives from emerging and well-established filmmakers like award-winning Actor and Producer Jimmy Jean-Louis, to uplift the Haitian voice and presence in an industry where it is often absent. HIFF is a catalyst for Haitian artistic expression and cultural diversity. In 2020, because of COVID-19, HIFF has pivoted to a virtual film festival. This year’s festival selections include 10 films from the Haitian and African Diaspora that are an exploration of the what it means to be Haitian in the Diaspora.