FEMI 2018: the African-American cinema under the microscope

American actor and musician Gary Dourdan will present his last movie "All She Wrote" at the 24th FÉMI.

The 24th edition of the FÉMI, the Regional and International Film Festival of Guadeloupe, will take place from May 11 to 19, 2018. This year’s theme is “The African-American cinema”, the guest of honor is American actor, Gary Dourdan. Concerning the 9th edition of the International Market of Caribbean Film and Television, it will be held from May 12 to 15 and will propose several workshops to film professionals.

1 - Tell them we are rising

The guest of honor at this 24th edition of the FÉMI, the Regional and International Film Festival of Guadeloupe, will be Gary Dourdan. The 52-year-old American actor and musician played in the movie “Alien: Resurrection”, released in 1997, but he really became popular when he joined in 2000 the team of the TV series “C.S.I, Crime Scene Investigation” where he played the role of Warrick Brown for eight seasons. He has just shot “All She Wrote” by Bulgarian director Niki Iliev, a feature film where he plays a former wrestler with a mental disability caused by his fights… “All she Wrote” will be screened off competition on Wednesday 16 at 8:30 pm at the Ciné-Théâtre du Lamentin. Just before, at 8:00 pm, Gary Dourdan will discuss with the audience.

This year, the Regional and International Film Festival of Guadeloupe will pay tribute to African-American cinema. Stanley Nelson’s documentary, realized in 2017 and entitled “Tell us we are rising: The story of black colleges & universities”, will open the Festival this Friday 11 may in the evening.

2 - All She Wrote

1500 films received, 33 selected for the competition

On the occasion of this 24th edition, the organizers of the Festival received 1500 films, 33 will participate in the competition (5 feature films, 11 documentaries, 5 short documentaries, 12 short films). In this official selection participating in the competition, there are films and documentaries that come from the islands of the Caribbean in particular: “El silencio del viento” the first feature film by Álvaro Aponte-Centeno (Puerto Rico/Dominican Republic) which has just won two awards at the Toulouse Film Festival (France) and took part, last April, in the 9th European Film Festival of the Alliance Française of Puerto Rico; “Santa and Andrés” by Carlos Lechuga (Cuba); “Chanel” by Humberto Vallejo (Dominican Republic); “Kafou” by Bruno Mourral (Haiti); “Lakay sé Lakay” by Aurélien Vollotton (Haiti-Switzerland); “La Vierge du Grand Retour” by Henri Vigana and Amingo Thora, “Où est le Mâle” by Teddy Albert, “Chalvet, la Conquête de la Dignité” by Camille Mauduech, “Jocelyne, Mi Tchè mwen” by Maharaki and “Seventeen” by Chloé Glotin from Martinique; “Les Mots qui chuchotent nos ombres” by Samuel Tanda, “Ma Montagne” by Olivier Kancel, “Liberté Lili” by Dominique Fischbach, “Ne Tirez pas sur les Enfants de la République” by Mike Horn, “Blanche” by Virginie Campagnie and “Caco’s Bar” by Gilles Gace from Guadeloupe.

3 - El silencio del viento

Films from more than 20 countries

Other Caribbean documentaries will be on the program of the Festival but they are out of competition; this will be the case for example for “René Depestre, on ne rate pas une vie éternelle” and “Reinbou” (Rainbow) by Arnold Antonin (Haiti/Dominican Republic), “El Techo” by Patricia Ramos (Cuba), “Ceci n’est pas un film” by Mathieu Aglossi (Guadeloupe), “Coeur d’Haïti” by Steve and Stéphanie James (Guadeloupe/Haiti)…

Note the screening (out of competition) of the documentary “I am not your Negro” by Haitian director, Raoul Peck, shot in 2016. This Swiss-American co-production that revisits the social and political struggles of African Americans in recent decades has already won several awards including the “Award for Best Documentary Award” from the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) in London, last February and at the 43rd Césars Awards ceremony in Paris, last March.

The Festival is regional but also international, it will show productions from several other regions of the world: Guiana, La Réunion, French Polynesia, France, Brazil, Bulgaria, Senegal, Togo, India, Vanuatu, Australia, Mexico, Spain, Switzerland, South Korea, Russia, New Zealand.

4 - I am not your negro

Meetings with moviegoers

As usual, there will be 4 juries (feature films, documentaries, short films and short documentaries) that will choose the best works to be rewarded. They will be chaired by Didier Mauro, a documentary filmmaker since 1980 who teaches documentary at the University of Paris-Sorbonne and created in 2012 in Guadeloupe “L’Atelier de Cinéma des Antilles”.

Meetings will be scheduled with the audience. On Tuesday, May 15 at 9:30 am at the Lamentin Media Library, Guadeloupean director Jean-Claude Barny will present the training, entitled “Training of Filmmakers from elsewhere for a cinema of diversity” for cinema professionals, he plans to lead during the second half of 2018. That same day, from 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm, at the Lamentin Celebration Hall, the artist Marie Gwadloup will lead a conference on “The image of women in cinema and advertising”.

In addition, from May 14th to 17th, from 12 noon to 10:00 pm, will be opened the “FÉMI Lounge”, a space in the Lamentin Celebration Hall where spectators and professionals of the 7th art will meet in a Caribbean atmosphere to discuss, eat and drink…

5 - A l'ombre d'Hollywood

A lecture-debate on African-American cinema

On Wednesday 16, but at 9:30 am at the Lamentin Media Library, a round table will be held on the theme: “The stakes of culture for a society”. That same day at 6:00 pm at the Memorial ACTe will take place a lecture-debate on “The African-American cinema” with director and writer, Régis Dubois. Before, the audience will attend the screening of his documentary called À l’Ombre d’Hollywood” which traces using archives the history of “race movies”, these independent films made for the African-American audience at the time of racial segregation in the United States between 1910 and 1950.

As part of the “Fémi in the city”, the Festival will again be decentralized because, with Le Lamentin, eight other municipalities on the island will screen the films (Baie-Mahault, Deshaies, Gosier, Gourbeyre, Morne-à-l’Eau, Le Moule, Sainte-Anne, Trois-Rivières).

Finally, in parallel with the Festival, the 9th edition of the International Market of Caribbean Film and Television will take place from May 12 to 15. For three days, workshops and meetings will be organized for directors, producers, scriptwriters and film students.