Eskwad


On August 14, 2021, a major earthquake devastated the southern department of Haiti. More than 2,000 people and livestock perished. High up in the Mountains in a community called Camp Perrin, farmers were already facing an alarming climatic shift with issues of deforestation causing landslides and decaying soil. International NGO’s have also exacerbated the disaster by using these desperate conditions to turn Farmers from self-sufficient to being dependent on aid. ESKWAD turns the lens on one local organization, MP3k who have been on the forefront of the Peasant Movement helping to turn the page of agriculture in Haiti. Weeks after the Earthquake, ESKWAD captures a small grassroots organization in Haiti at the center of authentic community development. ESKAWD captures Haitians using unity as their key ingredient in cultivating sustainability in agro-industry.

  • Keziah Jean
    Director
  • keziah Jean
    Writer
  • Rachelle Salnave
    Producer
  • Marc-Henry Valmond
    Producer
  • Ilmanie Favar
    Key Cast
    "Ilmanie "
  • Chavannes Charles
    Key Cast
    "Chavannes"
  • Frantz Saint-Fort
    Key Cast
    "Frantz"
  • Project Type:
    Documentary
  • Runtime:
    12 minutes 25 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    February 11, 2022
  • Production Budget:
    1,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    Haiti
  • Country of Filming:
    Haiti
  • Language:
    English
  • Shooting Format:
    HDV
  • Aspect Ratio:
    16:9
  • Film Color:
    Color
  • First-time Filmmaker:
    Yes
  • Student Project:
    No
Director Biography - Keziah Jean

Keziah Jean is a Haitian filmmaker. She is a graduate at Ciné Institute, a film school founded by David Belle and Artists for Peace and Justice. She started her career as a journalist and a musician. When she started studying in the film school, she had the opportunity to live two of her greatest passions "writing and directing”.

She started working as a visual communication specialist for several years at JP\HRO, a humanitarian organization founded by actor Sean Penn, where she spent most of her time filming, directing and editing documentaries in various camps of refugees in Port-au-Prince where thousands of people gathered in difficult conditions.


During her career, she has also collaborated with some international productions, such as Serial Pictures and Farm League, Vice, Inter American Foundation.


She earned a master's degree from American Film Showcase in 2016 through the International Documentary Workshop Program at USC School of Arts Cinema in Los Angeles. She has also been a special guest at several international events such as Haiti Optimiste, the Ischia Film Festival in Italy, the Montreal Black Film Festival and the Los Angeles Film Festival. .


In 2019, she joined La Voix des Femmes as a visual program manager to contribute to the development of women's leadership in Haiti. After the recent Haiti Earthquake of August 2021, Keziah was commissioned by FePouLi.Org and Artists Institute to create a documentary that captured Haitian solidarity. ESKWAD is Keziah’s first independent film.

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Director Statement

Ever since graduating from the one and only film school in Haiti, Cine Institute – now named Artist Institute, I have been lucky to work in the field with organizations on some capacity.
Working for others has given me a huge advantage but to actually have the opportunity to make my own film has meant the world to me.

ESKWAD is my first documentary film that I wrote, shot, and directed. I was one of the selected commissioned filmmakers to work on a Haitian solidarity project created by FePouli.org and Artists Institute called, Men Nan Men Films.

The focus was to show Haitians working with each other – hand in hand. I had already been documenting the horrific aftermath of the earthquake of August 14, 2021 that took place in the South of Haiti. I decided to use my lens to capture the voices of a local organization that had been supporting farmers. Besides,Agriculture is one of the strong resources that can enable the country to stand up and move forward.


I was inspired throughout the process witnessing the unity of the farmers’ association working together to produce results. Working on this story really gave me the motivation and faith that Haiti really can change and make a difference.I can say with all my heart that there are many strong women and men in my community, in my country who are fighting for change.


Eskwad is a model that proves when we work together, anything is possible.