Congrats to our new Artists Institute graduates, bon courage and break a leg! This weekend we held a beautiful ceremony in Jacmel where friends, family, and fellow students gathered to celebrate Haiti’s bright future. For the past three months, Artists Institute students have been focused on completing their year-end thesis films and mastered songs. Our students’ thesis projects represent the culmination of the creative scriptwriting, shooting, editing, mixing, recording, and composition skills they have acquired studying in Jacmel.  Emerging as both extremely talented and professionally trained filmmakers and audio engineers, our students launch into Haiti’s creative industry equipped with the tools to tell a new story. This year’s ceremony celebrated the 35 graduates from Ciné Institute and the culmination of the inaugural year at Audio Institute, whose first year graduates will receive their certificates in 2015. Keep reading for highlights from both divisions of Artists Institute.


Wood-Jerry Gabriel is a second year student at Ciné Institute. Hailing from a family of prolific painters in Jacmel, Wood-Jerry is passionate about creating dynamic works of Haitian literary and visual art with a fresh perspective. In his free time, he creates poems and imaginative short stories. Wood-Jerry’s interest in creative writing led him to study journalism and Haitian storytelling. This weekend, Wood-Jerry graduated Ciné Institute with the Award of Excellence! His thesis film, The Widow, is the story of a Haitian woman whose loss weakens her sense of reality. Through Martha’s cloud of despair, she believes sees her late husband in the crowd at Carnival and chases the illusion. Wood-Jerry’s film explores madness, love, and the supernatural. The Widow is an excellent and riveting portrait of tragic romance, we can’t wait for it to screen at Haiti Optimiste next year!


Roudie Rigaud Marcelin is a first year student at Audio Institute.  Roudie was born in Cap-Haïtien and previously studied video editing and sound with us at Ciné Institute! His talents are wide-ranging, and to capitalize on his creative instincts he decided to further his studies by applying to Audio Institute. “My experience living and breathing in movies for two years was extraordinary…On behalf of all the Artists Institute students, we really appreciate this great gesture and blessing that we were granted to continue our studies here in Jacmel that gives us strength and courage to never stop in our work.” Roudie’s introspective music blends ambient electronic styles with traditional Haitian musical elements such as Rara drums and vocal repetition. “I want this music to touch the heart of every person who will listen it.” His final song invites the audience to reflect on the trajectory of their lives like planets orbiting around the sun, moving together in harmony. Central to Artists Institute’s mission is that all film and music students share the benefits of their education through active participation in their local communities.

The original music and films our students have created showcase Artists Institute as a ready and vital voice in Haiti –and their art celebrates the complexity and vibrancy of Haitian culture. So much more to come, stay tuned!