[quote]Extract from FOSAJ October 2005 Newsletter Issue 4
Fondation Sant D'A Jakmel (FOSAJ)
9th-16th July - Festival Film Jakmèl 2005
This year's festival was a huge success thanks to all who helped put it together. Even the two threatening hurricanes didn't deter the will to keep it all going according to plan. With over 50,000 people who attended throughout the week, the town of Jacmel was alive and kicking. Like last year, all screenings were open to the public and free of charge. The daytime screenings took place in three makeshift theaters around town and the festival's feature presentations took place under the stars each night. A giant outdoor screen set up in front of the sea attracted thousands of families, students, market vendors, laborers, peasants, aid workers, diplomats and visiting foreign filmmakers, all gathering to watch films tha
t have been lent free of charge by such companies as Bac Films, HBO Films, Dreamworks SKG, and Sony Pictures Classics. This year, a closing night concert for over 8,000 spectators featured one of Haiti's most popular bands, Jahnesta.
Featuring 95 films from 30 countries the 2005 festival welcomed acclaimed directors Raoul Peck (Sometimes in April), and Jeff Zimbalist (Favela Rising) in addition to presenting award winning films such as Hotel Rwanda (Terry George), Motorcycle Diaries (Walter Salles), Maria Full of Grace (Josh Marston), The Agronomist (Jonathan Demme), Comme une Image (Agnès Jaoui), Le Goût de Jeunnes Filles (John L'Écuyer) and House of Flying Daggers (Zhang Yimou). Beyond the screenings, the festival also presented daily film workshops hosted by visiting filmmakers, including Haitian-born Mr. Peck and Dany Laférriere. The focus of the workshops ran the gamut of subjects, from screenwriting to casting to actual production.
In addition to offering locals a temporary respite from th
eir daily struggles, the festival offers wide exposure and global education through film. As filmmaker Zimbalist remarks, “With the exchanges that stem from watching a movie like Favela Rising in a place like Jacmel, one can see the potential for media to be a vehicle for very real change.” With over 50% illiteracy and dramatic unemployment in Haiti, the festival employs dozens of locals, including a theater troupe that dubbed 12 films from their original language into Creole, Haiti's most widely spoken language. Through employment and attracting enough visitors to pack local hotels, the festival's financial impact on the local economy is increasingly significant.
In order to make some of the most important foreign language films accessible to the thousands in attendance at the nightly outdoor screenings, a special staff of Festival Film Jakmel worked for months in advance to translate, record, and mix those films into Haitian Creole. Due to Haiti's high illiteracy rate and the large percentage of the
local population who only speak Creole, this process of dubbing films into the local language was deemed essential in order to fulfill our mission of bringing films from around the world to the people.
Participating in this process were members of a local theater group from Jacmel, whom we used to read and record the Creole translations. The entire process - from translations to recording, mixing and re-mastering of these films -was accomplished locally in Jacmel.
The total attendance for the eight days of Festival Film Jakmel was 55, 681 spectators. During the day some 21,361 spectators attended over the eight day period. The evening open air projections totaled 33, 000 spectators over the eight days with an average of 4,125 per evening. There was such a demand for the workshops that it was impossible to accommodate everybody. The workshops were coordinated and managed by Guetty Felin. This year's edition featured a bevy of distinguished award-winning professionals in the filmmaking industry; k
icking off with novelist/director, Danny Laférriere who presented a workshop on bringing "the Novel to the screen”. The next day they got a double treat with Nigerian filmmaker Andrew Dosunmu and New Yorker J.T. Walker who animated a workshop on lighting and framing where the students savored delectable film excerpts of great works such as “Soy Cuba” and “Orpheo Negro”. Two days later and back by popular demand, Andrew and J.T. returned and presented yet another compelling workshop on casting and choosing the right actors.
Emerging young filmmakers from Guadeloupe, Janluk Stanislas and Jean Claude Flamand Barny were also invited to share their experience in directing their short film and making their first feature. The workshop ended with an astounding rap session on “Cinema d'Auteur” hosted by none other than their very own compatriot and internationally acclaimed filmmaker, Raoul Peck. By the end of the 5-day session, the students had written film treatments, synopsis and scripts, acquired skills on
lighting, camera placement and framing and also filmed and directed some improvised scenes.
Contact and feedback:
5-7 Rue St Anne, Jacmel, Haiti.
Tel/Fax: (509) 288 2071.
Email : email@example.com
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