Monthly Archives: January 2011

Haiti Film Festival schedule (January 23-24, 2011)

La Casa and Bloomington for Haiti present

Haiti Film Festival
Sunday, January 23, 2011
Buskirk-Chumley Theater, 114 E Kirkwood Ave, Bloomington IN

All proceeds support Haiti relief efforts.

Festival Schedule

1:00pm Doors open

1:30pm Welcome remarks

1:40pm Poto Mitan: Haitian Women, Pillars of the Global Economy (2009, 50 minutes, dir. Mark Schuller and Renée Bergan)
2:40pm Q&A with Co-Producer/Co-Director/Director of Photography/Editor Renée Bergan

Told through the lives of five courageous Haitian women workers, Poto Mitan personalizes global struggles for fair employment. Each woman’s personal story explains neoliberal globalization, how it is gendered, and how it impacts Haiti. Poto Mitan focuses on women’s subjugation, worker exploitation, poverty, and resistance. Initiated by the subjects themselves, Poto Mitan aims to inspire solidarity and activism to end injustice in the global economy. (A 2010 update film will be shown at 5:15pm.) Learn more at

3:05pm A selection of films by students of the Ciné Institute, Jacmel, Haiti (2010, 43 minutes)*

*Please note: Although every effort has been made to select films adaptable to any audience, due to the nature of these films some scenes may not be suitable for all viewers.

“Ciné Institute Students Efforts”
“A Day in the Life of Ciné Institute”
“Student Lesly Décembre reports from a makeshift refugee camp in Jacmel”
“DR Arrives”
“Stories of Heroes”
“Carnival Mask Artisans”
“Silent March”
“Crying Man”
“Scouts After the Earthquake”
“Look at Me”
“We are the World_Thank You”

The Ciné Institute is a fully-funded professional film school providing Haitian youth with film education, training, and micro enterprise opportunities. The Ciné Institute seeks to empower its students to create a vibrant Afro-Francophone film industry targeting audiences in Haiti, its diaspora, and beyond. After the earthquake, Ciné students quickly mobilized to document the stories of people in their community. For more information on the student filmmakers, please visit

4:00pm Brief intermission

4:15pm When the Ground Stopped Shaking (2010, 42 minutes, dir. Jace Freeman)* /

When the Ground Stopped Shaking is a film about the beauty and frailty of human life. It is a film about solidarity and the belief that all of the world’s children are of the same family. It is a film about hope and faith. Faith that even when the very foundation of your life may give way under your feet, a persevering heart can never be shaken.” –Jace Freeman

*Please note: This film contains medical scenes that may be upsetting to some viewers.

5:07pm Trailers and videos (16 minutes)

“The Country Club” (2010, 2:04, trailer, dir. Jace Freeman)

The Country Club is a powerful new film about daily life in an internally displaced persons (IDP) camp run by Sean Penn in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Learn more at

“Haiti’s Heroes” (2010, 3:22, trailer, dir. Ciné Institute students)*

Haiti’s Heroes is an intimate portrait of Dr. Dubique Kobel and his team who operate a Partners in Health medical clinic in the largest refugee camp of post-quake Haiti. His journey began the day of the earthquake, when he, his wife, and childhood friends set up a tent in their neighborhood to treat victims. View the complete short film online at

“Poto Mitan Update” (2010, 10:22, dir. Mark Schuller and Renée Bergan)*

The filmmakers return to Port-au-Prince to learn how the women featured in Poto Mitan have fared since the 2010 earthquake.

*Please note: These films contain a few brief images that may be disturbing to some viewers.

5:30pm Brief intermission

5:40pm Strange Things: Children of Haiti (2010, 73 minutes, dir. Alexandria Hammond)
7:00pm Q&A with Director/Producer/Camera operator/Editor Alexandria Hammond

Strange Things follows three teenage boys from Cap-Haïtien – Denick, a prolific and charming 14 year old; Nickenson, a tough but sensitive 16 year old; and Antoine, an energetic paint-thinner abuser – who reflect on their country and their lives, while sharing a common dream of education, government assistance, and social acceptance. For more information, visit

Information booths by:
IU Creole Institute
Imagine Haitian
Fountains of Hope International
Cultural Cannibals
Lifeline Christian Mission
St Malachy Haiti Committee
Global Gifts
Hoosiers for Haiti
Lifeline Christian Mission
Dr. Doug Harty
The Timmy Foundation
International Sports Alliance
The Moving Picture Boys

Special thanks to our sponsors:
La Casa, Provocate-Haiti, Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies, Black Film Center/Archive, School of Public and Environmental Affairs, Maurer School of Law, IU Cinema, Nadine Pinede and Erick Janssen, Department of History, School of Education, Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center, Department of Folklore and Ethnomusicology, Creole Institute, Episcopal Campus Ministry, Office of Multicultural Initiatives, Micheline Fleurant

La Casa, CLACS, and Bloomington for Haiti present

“Documentary Filmmaking in Haiti: Directors’ Perspectives”
A brown bag lunch discussion with Directors Alexandria Hammond and Renée Bergan

Monday, January 24, 2011
Indiana Memorial Union Walnut Room, 900 E 7th St, Bloomington IN

Join us for an extended Q&A with the directors of two documentaries screening at the Haiti Film Festival at the Buskirk-Chumley Theater :

Poto Mitan: Haitian Women, Pillars of the Global Economy
Renée Bergan, Co-Producer/Co-Director/Director of Photography/Editor
Screening at 1:40pm on Sunday, January 23

Strange Things: Children of Haiti
Alexandria Hammond, Director/Producer/Camera/Editor
Screening at 5:40pm on Sunday, January 23

Ms. Hammond and Ms. Bergan will answer questions about the documentary filmmaking process, their advocacy work in Haiti, and the effects of the 2010 earthquake on the people and groups depicted in their films. Previous knowledge of the films not required.

This event is free and open to the public.


Haiti Film Festival to commemorate earthquake anniversary

Haiti Film Festival to commemorate earthquake anniversary, raise money for organizations

by Kat Forgacs

Bloomington (January 5)-Indiana University’s La Casa and community-based Bloomington for Haiti announce an upcoming film festival to focus on the ongoing social and economic needs of people in Haiti.

The Haiti Film Festival will be held at the Buskirk-Chumley Theater on January 23, 2011 to commemorate the anniversary of the January 12, 2010 earthquake that devastated Port-au-Prince and other communities in Haiti and left 1.5 million people homeless.

The film festival takes place between Martin Luther King, Jr. Day and the start of Black History Month and just two weeks after the anniversary of the earthquake. The impact of the earthquake on the already impoverished nation’s economy and infrastructure continues to be relevant. While the most optimistic Haiti advocates see the aftereffects as an opportunity to rebuild and re-envision the country’s foundations, reconstruction efforts are anticipated to last for decades.

Ticket prices will be $5 for students and seniors, $7.50 general admission. All admission fees to the festival will support organizations in Haiti working on the issues depicted in the films.

The Haiti Film Festival will feature three independent documentaries, including one by an IU alumnus, and a selection of short films from students of the Ciné Institute, Haiti’s only scholarship-based professional film school. Directors from the films will be present for Q&A sessions. During the festival, Indiana-based organizations will staff booths providing information about their service work in Haiti before and since the earthquake.

The first film of the festival will be “Poto Mitan: Haitian Women, Pillars of the Global Economy” (1:30pm, 50 minutes, 2009). Director-Producer Renée Bergan will be present to lead discussion after the film. Shot in 2006-2008, “Poto Mitan” focuses on the lives of several working women and the trials they face as they attempt to support themselves and their families under oppressive conditions. The Haitian Creole term “poto mitan” is used to emphasize the importance of women in the Haitian economy, indicating that women are the “center pillars” of Haitian society. “Poto Mitan” engages with themes of women’s subjugation, worker exploitation, poverty, and resistance in the context of neoliberal globalization. The film was written and narrated by Edwidge Danticat and won the Indie Spec Best Documentary Award at the 2009 Boston International Film Festival.

The Haiti Film Festival will also feature several short documentary films conceptualized, shot, and edited by students of the Ciné Institute in Haiti’s southern city, Jacmel (3:30pm, 35 minutes, 2010). The Ciné Institute is Haiti’s only fully-funded film school that allows Haitian youth to learn documentary and narrative film-making techniques from professional filmmakers. Following the January 12 earthquake, Ciné students immediately picked up their cameras and returned to the field to document the effects of the earthquake on their neighbors and community. Their work offers unprecedented insight into the impact of natural disasters on everyday life. The personal narratives told through these films demonstrate the scale of this event and the determination of its survivors to carry on.

The next film in the festival lineup is “When the Ground Stopped Shaking,” a moving documentary about the effects of the earthquake, directed and edited by IU alumnus Jace Freeman (4:25pm, 42 minutes, 2010). Freeman graduated from IU-Bloomington with a degree in Telecommunications in 2006. A native of Carmel, Indiana, Freeman now resides in Nashville, TN, where he co-founded a human rights-centered film production company, The Moving Picture Boys. “When the Ground Stopped Shaking” premiered in October 2010 as an official selection at the Heartland Film Festival in Indianapolis. The film depicts a community in Grand Goâve, Haiti attempting to rebuild their lives just weeks after the January 12, 2010 earthquake. The intimate footage of this cinema-verité documentary presents a humanizing portrayal of the lives of families displaced by the earthquake and the aid workers sent to help with the relief operations. The film demonstrates how medical personnel and their patients meet challenges with humor and love amidst the chaos of this life-altering event.

The final film of the Haiti Film Festival will be “Strange Things: Children of Haiti” (5:25pm, 72 minutes, 2010). Director-Producer-Editor Alexandra Hammond will lead the discussion after the film. “Strange Things” tells the remarkable story of three orphaned teenage boys in Haiti’s northern city Cap-Haïtien. Following their lives over a period of four years (2006-2009), the film reveals the difficulties encountered by these “sanguine” (“soulless” in Haitian Creole) as they attempt to navigate life as untimely adults. This film addresses the vast divide in opportunities available to Haiti’s underprivileged children versus the privileged few, particularly in the realm of formal education. After the January 12 earthquake, Regine Zamor, Co-Producer and translator of “Strange Things,” created the “Bagay Dwol Haiti Relief Fund” to identify sustainable street children and youth programs and to advocate for public, free, and quality education in Haiti. “Strange Things” was an official selection of the 2010 MoMA Documentary Fortnight Film Festival and the 2010 DocMiami International Film Festival. A TV version of the film called “Children of Haiti,” containing new footage from 2010, will soon be shown on the PBS series “Independent Lens.”

In addition to the film offerings, starting at 2:30pm patrons can interact with several Indiana-based organizations at information booths in the lobby of the theater. These organizations will share information about their ongoing service projects in Haiti before and since the earthquake. Patrons will be able to learn about these projects and how they can get involved. The booths will be available until 6:30pm. Information on the festival can be found online at

For more information on the films, please visit:

Poto Mitan:
Ciné Institute:
When the Ground Stopped Shaking:
Strange Things:

Kat Forgacs