Ayiti Images, a traveling Florida film series, ends its successful 2014-2015 run with a double-feature screening about the Haitian experience. The concept of Ayiti Images birthed from a burning desire to educate and project an authentic voice that depicts the Haitian experience from a humanistic perspective through the use of film and discussion. The screenings will be held at six locations beginning with the University of Miami at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, April 20, at Shoma Hall. A Q&A session with the film’s directors about the making of the films will accompany each screening event. 

Ayiti Images presents the highly successful short film Papa Machete directed by Jonathan David Kane, which tells the story about the art of machete fencing in Haiti, followed by the highly anticipated feature documentary examining the Haitian identity La Belle Vie: The Good Life directed by School of Communication alumna Rachelle Salnave.

A four-year in the making documentary, La Belle Vie: The Good Life takes a look into Haitian-American filmmaker Rachelle Salnave’s journey to discover her Haitian roots by examining the complexities of the Haitian society, but also chronicles her voyage to find hope in this nation on the brink of a new Haiti.

“I began creating La Belle Vie: The Good Life in the hopes of showing the world another side of Haiti. As I come to terms with my own identity, I encounter a movement of Haitians in Haiti and abroad that may have faced similar stories as me, but have used their talents to change the face of Haiti and its culture,” director Rachelle Salnave explains.

“We are really looking forward to being a part of Ayiti Images. It’s such a special program. We’ve had great success at major film festivals, but it’s just as important to take the film directly to the Haitian community in South Florida,” says Jason Fitzroy Jeffers, Executive Producer of Papa Machete. “There so few platforms through which films by Haitians or concerning Haiti can be seen and discussed, and Ayiti Images fills that need by taking them right to the people.”

The concept of this traveling film series is to bring quality Haitian film programs right to people’s neighborhoods. In collaboration with the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the Cinema and Interactive Media and the Haitian Student Association at the University of Miami, FIU’s Latin American and Caribbean Center, Little Haiti Cultural Center, O Cinema, Lake Worth Playhouse, the films give Haiti a unique voice told by the people who live, speak and feel the culture.

Ed Talavera, Chair of the Department of Cinema and Interactive Media has been extremely pleased with the outcome of the Ayiti Images’ series saying “This series is really valuable to our department of Cinema and Interactive Media at the School of Communication by bringing important films about Haitian culture and experience to the community.”