Congratulations to our new Artists Institute graduates, bon courage and break a leg! Last week we were thrilled as friends, family, and students joined together in Jacmel to celebrate graduation and present thirty-five new graduates with their Artists Institute certificates. We can’t wait to watch these talented youth enter Haiti’s burgeoning creative industry equipped with two years of intensive professional training and ready to use their art to make a difference!
For the past three months, Ciné Institute students have been focused on completing their year-end thesis films. Producing both narrative and documentary style films, students’ thesis projects represent the culmination of the creative scriptwriting, shooting, editing skills they have acquired in the two years studying in Jacmel. Emerging as trained and talented filmmakers, our students launch into Haiti’s creative industry equipped with the tools to tell a new story.
Second year students began production on their final films this April, working together in groups according to specialty to create 10-15 minute short films to present to fellow classmates, Ciné Institute staff, and the larger Artists Institute family. Shooting time is five days using a 7D DSLR HD camera with prime and zoom lenses plus a crew of fifteen first year students, then two weeks in post-production.
Bergodson Prévot participated in an intensive photography workshop with Sicilian filmmaker Simone Rapisarda Casanova, known for his ethnographic and avant-garde film El àrbol de las fresas. Bergodson applied his new cinematographic skills to his own short film Troubled City, based on Haitian folklore. In Troubled City, a boy named David goes on holiday in the unfamiliar countryside. One by one, local children go missing and David must journey further into the hills to find them. Bergodson also worked together with Ciné Institute alum Macdala Prévot as a cameraman on her film Les tracs de Dorat, a short film about the nature of Haiti’s domestic film industry.
Wood-Jerry Gabriel is a talented Haitian artist, born in 1988 in the city of Jacmel, Haiti’s cultural capital, and a second year student at Ciné Institute. Son of the painter Gabriel Martineau, he developed a passion for painting very young and joined in 2010, the FOSAJ organization, the «Foyer d’Orientation et de Soutien aux Artistes Jacméliens ». Wood-Jerry is passionate about creating dynamic works of Haitian literary and visual art with a fresh perspective. In his free time, he creates poems and imaginative short stories. Wood-Jerry’s interest in creative writing led him to study journalism and Haitian storytelling. This weekend, Wood-Jerry graduated Ciné Institute with the Award of Excellence!
His thesis film, The Widow, is the story of a Haitian woman whose loss weakens her sense of reality. Through Martha’s cloud of despair, she believes sees her late husband in the crowd at Carnival and chases the illusion. Wood-Jerry’s film explores madness, love, and the supernatural. First year Ciné Institute students Wilna Barjon and Frantzcia Deshommes worked alongside Wood-Jerry in sound editing and artistic direction. The Widow is an excellent and riveting portrait of tragic romance, we can’t wait for it to screen at Haiti Optimiste next year!
Central to Artists Institute’s mission is that all film and music students share the benefits of their education through active participation in their local communities. The original music and films our students have created showcase Artists Institute as a ready and vital voice in Haiti –and their art celebrates the complexity and vibrancy of Haitian culture.