Much coverage on this blog of Haiti’s Ciné Institute, since we first learned about and profiled it in 2010. Although it’s been around for much longer than that.
The initiative, which began as a film festival in Jacmel, has grown to become a provider of Haitian youth with film education, training and production support.
Held for three years, Festival Film Jakmèl showed hundreds of films from around the world, free of charge, to tens of thousands of local audiences. Their stated mission is to use the power of cinema, integrated educational programming, technical film training and production funding, to entertain, educate and empower Haitian youth, to create a movement that grows an industry in national cinema and arts, which creates jobs, stimulates regional economies and drives sustainable long term development.
According to the organization, Ciné Institute’s unique model begins with tuition-free education and hands-on college-level training in a two-year program. Their employment division brings in top-tier clients like Arcade Fire, Google, Partners In Health and Donna Karan who provide real jobs and experience for their students and alumni, while producing top quality work. Their professional support division builds on these programs, and gives a powerful voice to Haiti’s storytellers.
When the earthquake struck 5 years ago, the Institute’s students were on the ground, shooting and uploading footage onto social networking sites for the rest of the world to see, and they continued releasing video footage covering the aftermath.
Ciné Institute provides each student with a full scholarship, made possible through private donations. It’s year-round fundraising drive encourages your financial contributions which will allow them to continue to provide a world-class education and professional job creation.
Last year’s winner of the inaugural S&A Fantastical Short Film Challenge, Haitian filmmaker Amiral Gaspard and his supernatural tale “The Good, The Bad, The Apprentice” (“Le bon, le méchant et l’apprenti”), is a graduate of Ciné Institute.
Read our extensive interview with Ciné Institute founder David Belle, on cultivating a local film industry and more, here.
The organization celebrates its 10th anniversary this year.
I subscribe to their Vimeo feed, and over the previous few months, 3 short films directed by Ciné Institute students have been uploaded to the account. I’m sharing them here for you all to obviously watch, and get a look at what’s happening in terms of cinema in Haiti, specifically, cinema made by up-and-comers whose names you may be reading much more about in the future, as they graduate to films that do travel internationally (you already watched Amiral Gaspard’s impressive short film mentioned above).
You can subscribe to the school’s Vimeo feed here, so that you don’t miss any future uploads.
No official synopsis is provided for each short film below, and I could summarize based on my own viewings, but I think it’s a good challenge, as it was for me, to screen each one without knowing anything at all about them, and discover as you watch, as I did. Happy adventuring…