The Diaspora Travels: Haiti

a docuvixen film and Caribbean tales

The Diaspora Travels: Haiti

Caribbean Tales Incubator Link

In the July of this year a docuvixen film partnered up with Caribbean Tales in coordinating Caribbean Filmmakers from the region to come up and participation in the Market Incubator Program here in Toronto from September 6-11th. and supporting filmmakers from the region through Industry events during TIFF.

The CT Market Incubator aims to support producers to develop skills in the all-important packaging and marketing of films.

In this way it supports the development of a vibrant world-class Caribbean film industry, by assisting filmmakers to create dynamic, distinctive and commercially viable films that will stand tall in the international marketplace.

Designed as an incubator, the program includes specialized sessions led by international film professionals and consultants, and provides the following opportunities:

  • Attendance at 3-day CTWD Market Incubator, September 6-9th 2011
  • Attendance at the CTWD Networking Event/Launch Party, Sept 7th
  • Participation in simulated Pitching Session, adjudicate by industry leaders.
  • Informal networking opportunities for participants to pitch their projects
  • Tutoring sessions, led by CTWD’s esteemed international consultants

Project that is currently in Development that will go through the Incubator Program:

Producer/Director/Editor: Malinda Francis
Camera Operator/ Line Producer- Michel Dessouces Jr
Co-Producer/Sound Recorder/ Sound Editor/Composer- Oja Vincent

length of film: 45/90min

Blog of Production: Web Interactive Component… (Web Series) : 10mins,

The hope is lead to Ongoing News from Diaspora Stories, that documents the ongoing situation in Haiti. (Web Series) Episodes10mins. To develop a social media aspect to the website.

Format: HD

country of production: primarily in Haiti, Canada, United States

logline: travel stories of the African/Caribbean Diasporia, past, present and future.

This interactive documentary follows the Black/African/Caribbean
Diaspora from Toronto, Montreal and New York directly to the ground to
Haiti where leads us to those who are still affected by the January 12th,
2010. We follow the Diaspora connect who connect with Haitians working in community organizations where there is a disconnect between the massive global donations, haven’t reach those Haitian organizing doing the rebuilding process.. We get direct window into the lives of Haitians who are continually working to rebuild their communities. This gives voice to grassroots community Haitian organizations and their ongoing struggles to gain resources for the rebuilding process.

The story begins early morning in Brooklyn New York, as the team arrives at
JFK airport for their direct flight to Port au Prince, Haiti. Through security
directs the passengers through metal detectors onto the early flight on
American Airlines. Hours later we touch done amongst the rubble, sounds
of Port au Prince, ride along unpaved roads, Ayitien seems to come out
from all directions.

This interactive documentary aim is to build space for dialogue between
people who want direct link to the work on being done on the ground in
Haiti. The hope is to continue the journey with the Diaspora as they
continue to help the efforts in rebuilding Haiti, and supporting those who
have fell through the cracks of the International Aid System. Along with
the documentary a website will be created to enable to have this
continual follow-up on this ongoing process.

The Diaspora Travels doesn’t end in Haiti, the overall series format will
continue to explore the history of Migration of the Black/Caribbean and
African Diaspora, across the globe. As the Diaspora migrate there is a
need to have a connection to back home, or a need to connect with
their family stories. The Diaspora Travels wants to be a space for the
Diaspora to do this. As we watch the increasing of Natural Disasters, and
Political/Social and Economic hardships increase, the Diaspora Travels,
hopes to create space for the Diaspora the ability, and the connection to react to the needs back home, to facilitate dialogue and be able to send back resources straight to the ground to those affected.

Team Bios

Malinda Francis tells visual stories that derive from her experience, as well tries to communicate and connect with others within her community. An independent filmmaker, Malinda (a docuvixen film) has been working as a freelance filmmaker, camera operator and editor for 5 years now.

She continues working on her own projects and various community media initiatives.The themes that she explores in her work are around urban living and cities, and as well migration stories.

Her first independent poetic documentary Where are we (shot in Detroit) is currently going around in various festivals, and developing other films around urban cities such Windsor, especially in the advent of the economic crash.

Malinda works in The Movement Project a performance collective, which produces multi-media performances, combines film, video projection, theatre, spoken word, audio design, and music…around themes of migration, their last performance was last August 2009.

Malinda currently works on 2 Radios shows, Works with the team at Saturday Morning Live with Norman Otis Richmon (aka Jalali), at CKLN Flagship News Show. 10am-1pm every Saturday streamed As well with theVibeCollective CIUT 89.5fm, which is a mix of music and current affairs, cohosts Jamaias DaCosta and Syed Adnan Hussain, along with DJ Corey Dawkins bringing Next Level Music.

Malinda is working on her first feature interactive document: “The Diaspora Travels: Haiti’s Displacement Camps”, where following the Haitian Diaspora in the rebuilding process, after the devastating Earthquake January 12, 2011. The Website that will go along with the Feature documentary, will create space with those doing the work on the ground in Haiti, and the Haitian Diaspora around the world.

Michel Dessources, Jr. is a native Haitian born and raised in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Growing up as a young boy he was exposed to the arts. His father worked as a craft artist and his mother as a stage performing actress. Michel, having spent much quality time with his parents in and out of the home, developed an appetite for film and production. Subsequently, Michel attended Rockland Community College in Rockland County, New York where he received an Associates Degree in the Visual Arts. He went on to continue his studies at the Katherine Gibbs School of the Arts in New York City where he received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Visual Communications. He has since become a Photographer, a Graphic Designer and a Filmmaker.
As a result of fulfilling his heartfelt passion for the arts through formalized education and training, Michel has received much notoriety in his brief career through the following assignments: Art Director with actor Danny Glover in 2004 at the Lincoln Center, Manhattan, New York. Art Director/Set Design for “Pluie d’Espoir” a movie directed by Jacques Roc. Director of a short documentary for the Bill Brookman Foundation, “UK,” and, last but not least, Art Director for Sensitization Projects for BDR/United Nations in Haiti.

While all these are notable accomplishments, growing up in the streets of Port-au-Prince, Haiti exposed Michel to much more than the arts. He witnessed horror as a child observing the conditions of his native people. In the midst of this beautiful island tucked away in the Caribbean, Michel observed poverty and sickness to great magnitudes. He saw thousands of homeless people in the streets; sickness and disease that plagued the bodies of many; the hopelessness and despair of children with little to no formal educational opportunities; and of course, he witnessed the atrocious sexual and physical abuse of children that continues to burden his heart to this very day.

As a result, through God’s guidance and covering, Michel has chosen to use film as his primary medium for sharing these dramatic, yet real images of life in his country with the world. After a number of years of wrestling and contemplating the idea, he is finally launching out; making strategic strides towards acquiring the necessary resources needed to secure his country in the same spiritual peace, educational freedom, and economic stability experienced by other nations throughout the world!

Oja James Vincent, better known as DJ Oja or Oja Vincent, is a producer, DJ, educator and activist whose life work is to create, connect & be part of the global movement to build community through sound-based storytelling, music production, and performance while dynamically passing the tradition on to the next generation.

University trained (at NYU and The Newschool) and self-taught in the music business and the art of electronic music production, he has been a part of the Earthdriver, a progressive live arts collective since 2002 ( as the group’s dj/samplist, co-engineer, arranger and co-producer of two albums bearing the Earthdriver imprint (Sharrif Simmon’s “The Echo Effect” and “Earthdriver”).

Sun Sound/Sunchild Productions, Oja’s DJ & production company, has been responsible for providing kinetic song selection/blends, sound design & ambiance for everything from live theatre performances (“Tongan Paint,” at Terra Nova Festival, “Osage Avenue” at Cherry Lane Theater & “Committing The Black On Black Crime Called Blackface,” sponsored by La Mama), fundraisers (for the people of Palestine, Hispaniola, Chiapas, ect.), live musical performances (3BB, Toni Blackman, Nemiss, DAM, Metrosonics & Brwn Bflo) festivals and conferences (CR10, USSJF2007, Red Hook Waterfront Festival, Clear Creek Festival), sound for Television and films (Sesame Street’s “Z is for Zipper,” PBS’s In the Mix series’ “Get the News?” “Dealing With Differences,” “Living With Change,” and “9-11: Looking Back….Moving Forward”) and co-producing two tracks from the soundtrack of Southeast Emmy winning Thorton Dial documentary “Mr. Dial Has Something to Say” to radio programs (89.1FM’s “The Subterrain” & “The Hip Hop Shop,” PNC radio’s “Show ‘n’ Prove” & WBMB 87.9FM’s “Homecookin” & “Pangea Radio”) and sound installations accompanying visual art (“Housing is a Human Right” with oral historians & photographers Mike Premo & Rachel Falcone and painter Leonardo Benzant’s exhibit “A Presence Under the Noise”).

As an educator and program producer, Oja coordinated, developed curriculum (audio production and DJ instruction), and taught youth at the City Parks Foundation’s first ever free after school technology initiative program, Hook Productions, in Red Hook Brooklyn from February 2004 to September of 2008. The program has since been replicated at several sites around New York City. He also has taught semester-long media arts classes such as “So You Want To Be a DJ?” at Urban Arts Initiative, “Electronic Music Production 1.0” class at P.S.27 and “Beat Making 101” at P.S.15 (as a part of the Good Shepherd Summer Camp Program).
Recently, Oja has been the coordinator/facilitator of The Red Hook Initiative’s “RHI Radio,” a youth produced radio program in Red Hook (, helping get Red Hook’s youth-produced started with the eager teens from the Red Hook Initiative through out the school year and producing the First RHI Youth Radio Conference this summer. Presently, he continues to work to document, produce, collaborate, create and perform alongside like-minded artists in order to help tell untold stories, construct environments and inspire thought, dialog and action through sound. In addition, Oja has been using his community building and media arts skills to work with two partners to get their new non-profit organization, Lend a Hand and Foot ( off the ground in efforts to aid the people of Haiti to build a new nation.

Video Blogs:
Blog One: Through Plane Windows

Blog Two: Diasporic Travels: Car Troubleshooting

Blog Three: Seraphine Legend-Diaspora Story Amongst the Rubble

In May of 2011
Thought important to connect with those who supported the film so, with the whole crew on skype along with the, community builders that we meet from the production we had a discussion on the experiences on the ground in Haiti. This is part of the process of creating an ongoing dialogue with the diaspora and those living in Haiti.

Home   About  Blog  Films   LIFEmovement Radio    Services
The Movement Project  Walnut Studios


4 Responses to The Diaspora Travels: Haiti

  1. Pingback: Malinda Francis | a docuvixen film

  2. Pingback: Journals of a Docuvixen « Docuvixen

  3. Pingback: plugging my nose and jumping in… « Displacement Camps Production

  4. Pingback: Mapping the Diaspora « The Diaspora Travels

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s