Haiti Optimiste: An Evening Celebrating New Cinema from Haiti
I was thrilled to attend, “Haiti Optimiste,” a beautiful evening that was put together by my friend and creative companion David Belle and his team at the Cine Institute – the only film school of all Haiti. David and his team curated a fantastic selection of films that offered a celebratory look at the country that continues to inspire me to this day.
I loved having my Haiti community gathered together here in New York City and found the film to be touching, succinct and incredibly heartfelt. The event gave a brilliant shout out to Haiti’s new film movement called Jollywood, named after Jacmel (which just happens to be my favorite city in Haiti). There was wit, drama and honest depictions of the remaining difficult realities in Haiti. I have to say, it made me so happy to see how receptive the audience was to this world that I love so much.
Of course, for me, the most touching part of the evening was reconnecting with so many familiar faces. I have a close, personal relationship with the crew from the Cine Institute. David Belle, the founder, introduced me to a Haiti that I fell in love with and for that, I will be forever grateful.