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Haiti Film festival at Tribeca’s The Flea

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Stateless, by Michèle Stephenson. Dominican Republic and its relationship to Haitians, many who have lived in the country for generations.
Photo courtesy of the Haiti Film Fest

The Haitian cultural organization Haiti Cultural Exchange  (HCX) is hosting the Haiti Film Fest 2022, on Friday, June 24 – Sunday, June 26 at The Flea Theater (The Sam), located at 20 Thomas St.

HCX, founded in 2009, sponsors a wide variety of arts programming reflecting artistic expressions of the Haitian homeland and its diaspora. While Haiti Cultural Exchange continued its dance, music, and arts exhibition programming outdoors during the pandemic—primarily in community gardens and the Brooklyn Botanical Garden—it welcomes the opportunity to resume screenings indoors at this year’s film festival. 

“It’s such a pleasure to once again present the Haiti Film Fest to NYC audiences,” says Régine M. Roumain, Executive Director of Haiti Cultural Exchange.   “The festival comes at a critical juncture for Haitians as our community faces numerous social, economic and political challenges. HCX programming remains rooted in our shared humanity and sheds light on life in the Diaspora as well as Haiti.” 

In its 5th edition,  the Haiti Film Fest presents the diversity, depth and vibrant spirit of the Haitian people through contemporary cinema. 

“We are particularly pleased to have many of the filmmakers present during our four-day festival, which provides an opportunity for the community to engage in dialogue around the issues presented,”  Roumain adds. 

The festival, three more days of films screenings in Tribeca’s The Flea Theatre, follows a  sold-out Brooklyn opening night film, Freda. (Directed by Gessica Généus, this is a heart-felt film displaying everyday life in Port-au-Prince).   

The selection of films at The Flea is a rare opportunity to view films by highly acclaimed writers and directors, many who have screened films at Cannes, Tribeca and Sundance Film Festivals and whose films are not often screened.  

A spotlight of this year’s festival at The Flea is the compelling film (6pm,  Sun, June 26) “Stateless” written and directed by Brooklyn-based Michèle Stephenson, a three-time Emmy Award nominee and winner of Tribeca and Sundance Festival Jury Prize and Guggenheim Fellow. In this film, in 1937, tens of thousands of Haitians and Dominicans of Haitian descent were exterminated by the Dominican army on the basis of anti-black racism.  Fast-forward to 2013, the Dominican Republic’s Supreme Court stripped the citizenship of anyone with Haitian parents, retroactive to 1929, rendering more than 200,000 people stateless.   

At 8pm, Sun, June 26 at The Flea, is the screening of “Murder in Pacot” by acclaimed filmmaker and recent Peabody Award recipient,  Raoul Peck. This film depicts life in Haiti after the devastating January 2010 earthquake in Port-au-Prince. An intellectual couple struggles to reinvent a life amid the rubble of their luxurious home.   (Peck has previously been selected to screen films at Cannes Competition in 1993 and in 2000 as well as Lincoln Center. In the past,  his film Lumumba and Karl Marx screened at Film Forum or Metrograph.)   

Other festival film screenings at the The Flea are:  Spotlight on Brooklyn & Haiti Filmmakers,  Fri, Jun 24, 6 PM; Cafe Negro & Madan Sara, Sat, Jun 25, 2 PM;  Spotlight on Haiti with Pierre-Michel Jean, Toro La Cou, Sat, Jun 25, 5 PM;  Zombi Child,  Sat, Jun 25, 8 PM;  Jaques Stephan Alexis & How (not) to Build a School,  Sun, Jun 26, 2 PM.

Screenings will be followed by discussions with filmmakers, industry professionals and scholars.$10 suggested donation for film screenings. RSVP REQUIRED.  Ticket information for the Haiti Film Fest: https://linktr.ee/haiticulturalx 

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