Trinidadian film maker seeking major award at African film festival

haiti-bridePORT-OF-SPAIN, Trinidad, Thursday February 26, 2015, CMC – A film by the Ghanian-born, Trinidadian film-maker Yao Ramesar has been selected for screening at the Pan African Film & Television Festival in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso.

Haiti Bride” is in the running for Africa’s major film award.

It is the first time a Caribbean film-maker will compete for the prestigious Etalon de Yennenga award at what has been described as “Africa’s Oscars”.

The select 20 features include the 2015 Oscar nominee, Timbuktu, along with the latest movies from many of the masters of contemporary African cinema.

Ramesar’s participation will be a first for the biennial event which has been hosted since 1969 and is taking place this year from February 28 to March 1.

Haiti Bride was funded in part by a grant from the University of the West Indies (UWI) and premiered at UWI’s Film Programme.

Ramesar is one of Trinidad and Tobago’s leading filmmakers. He has many short films to his credit, and his first feature, SisaGod, about the coming of a black female messiah in a post-apocalyptic world, premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2006

Since then he has shot a feature in Barbados, titled “Stranger in Paradise” and Haiti’s Bride was filed in the French-speaking Caribbean Community (CARICOM) country.

Haiti Bride centres on a young lady who leaves Haiti in 2004 with her family, with the evacuation, when President Jean Bertrand Aristide is thrown out of power, as the family is close to Aristide.

They are domiciled in New York and the parents vow never to return under the present political situation. Some years later a Haitian guy shows up in New York, and falls in love with the girl. He wants to live in the States, and she wants to go back to Haiti.

The family is livid, but they finally strike a compromise, which means they’ll have the wedding in Haiti. Unfortunately the date and time of the wedding coincide with the January 2010 earthquake that killed more than 300,000 people and left an estimated one million others homeless.

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