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Haitian filmmaker Darlene Gill Award in Canada for her movie “Houminvi”.

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Darlene Gill Award in Canada for her movie “Houminvi”.

by joneljust

The film “Houminvi”, directed by playwright, poet, journalist, actress and activist Darlene Gill, received last April in Canada the Acting for Equality Award at the 38th International Film Festival Vues d’Afrique. The award was given to him by CECI, the Center for Studies and International Cooperation.

Friday, April 29, 2022 (( –

Filmed in Benin and produced in France, Houminvi addresses the problems of immigration and slavery, “two themes associated for centuries with an eternal dance,” according to Darlene Gill (Manzi da) who co-directed the film with Benin Giovania. Otogino Zinsou.

“Houminvi” means the daughter of the sailor (or sea) in the Fon language, which is the name of a young girl embodied by Jill on screen) who, despite all her mother’s arguments to discourage her, sticks up and decides to travel to Europe to make his dream come true. You will encounter dark obstacles along the way. But she will be saved by the ocean, and she will be miraculously brought home.

This short film was shot in three Benin cities (Ouida, Lada, Cotonou), and was released at the beginning of this year in France. Hominy just successfully participated in the 38th edition of the Festival Vues d’Afrique, which took place from March 26 to April 10, 2022 in Quebec. First choice by a prestigious international festival.

This year, among the hundreds of films presented within the framework of the festival, about fifteen works appeared in the Representation for Equality category, 13 of which were submitted to a selected jury. Several countries were represented in this category, including Cameroon, Mali, Benin, Haiti, Senegal, Canada, France, Germany, Belgium, Morocco, Burkina Faso, Togo, Algeria, Tunisia, Namibia, Madagascar, and Niger. Finally, the award was won by the Haitian-Beninian achievement.

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“This work bears a sobering and poignant testimony to the conditions of inequality and poverty for women in Africa through the experience of a young girl who somehow tries to leave Africa for a world considered better” Ms. Amy Yu, CEC volunteer and jury member.

Darlene Gill says, “Hominfi speaks of a reality so present, so heavy in our lives, a reality that has existed for generations, carried by different peoples, and circling between dreams, fantasies and despair!” »

The first screening of the film took place as part of the DIRE Festival at the Oléron Castle in France. “After that, it will continue to make its way,” hopes Gilles, who has lived in France for two years.

In November 2019, the playwright was invited to Benin for a festival (Rencontres Internationales des Arts de l’Oralité, RIAO). She wanted to take advantage of this trip to do research on slavery, a topic that interests her so much. “Thanks to a scholarship from FOKAL, I was able to stay for 3 months there. As I progressed in my research, I felt the urge to create something about immigration that appeared a lot in my documentation,” says founder of the feminist magazine Plublicad’Elles about the origin of her first film.

She continued, “Then I met the young director Giovannia Attodino Zinsou who agreed to work with me on the project. Very quickly we formed a team, collected the material, with a script written with a lot of emotion, we started shooting Houminvi.”

From Benin, Darlene Gill (Manzi da) returned to Haiti, then went to France to participate in the DIRE Story Festival in March 2020. Upon her arrival in France, she had to deal with the coronavirus pandemic. Unable to return home, she gave herself body and soul to creation. Despite the crisis, Darlene did not stop creating, writing poems, plays and screenplays. Writing became his lifeline. Things have been difficult because of the global health crisis; However, Gill says he sees clear in his skies today.

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When things calmed down in France, Manzi da resumed his film project, which was meanwhile asleep in the drawers. The film was shot and edited entirely in Benin, but post-production took place in France. Gilles specifies that he received support from Télé Millevaches (union television covering the lands of the Millevaches Plateau in France’s Nouvelle-Aquitaine region) which helped him in the post-production of the film last December. She says she is very grateful for the generous support of director Gilhome Trail at this point in the film.

2022 has started off well for Darlene Gill with the selection of Houminvi in ​​the Vues d’Afrique and the Acting Award for Equality crowning her efforts. In addition, it has a new innovation called “Le Journal d’une garce”. This play was first presented last March at the DIRE Festival. “I hope this creation finds its way too, as I keep writing.”

“I love everything that allows me to play, travel and live another life. Theater, cinema and writing do all of that,” concludes the designer.

Junel Just


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