Film Adaptation of Edwidge Danticat's Caroline's Wedding
Film Adaptation of Edwidge Danticat's Caroline's Wedding
Caroline's Wedding is about the Haitian-American experience told through one family's struggle to adjust to life in Brooklyn.
Caroline's Wedding is about the Haitian-American experience told through one family's struggle to adjust to life in Brooklyn. Read more
About this project
Thank you to everyone who donated to this Kickstarter campaign. Unfortunately we fell short of our goal, but we received pledges totaling $14,505 from 125 people. The support from our community has been overwhelming and we will continue to push to get this wonderful project to the screen. You may contribute a tax-deductible donation via our New York Women in Film & Television page at www.carolineswedding.com
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The creative team behind “Caroline's Wedding” is thrilled to be raising funds to bring this universal story to life. The writing team created a screenplay that was a finalist for the Sundance Screenwriters Lab and now we are ready to produce this beautiful story by award-winning author Edwidge Danticat.
Edwidge Danticat’s moving portrait follows Grace, a young Haitian-American living in Brooklyn with her widowed mother and younger sister. Grace has lived life till now with one foot in two cultures - on the one side, there is her mother’s world of Haitian traditions, cures and ceremonies for the dead; on the other, her sister, Caroline, who was born missing a forearm, lives a life of miniskirts and blonde-streaked hair. But all things come to a head when Grace gains her American citizenship and Caroline announces her engagement to a man her mother despises. Then, Grace has visions of her late father which causes elements of the family's past to resurface and Grace is forced to examine where she fits in each world.
Magical realism plays a big part in the film. Grace has a recurring dream of her deceased father in which she chases him while he ask traditional Haitian call and response questions.
The film will be set in the '90s, and shot on location in Brooklyn where nearly 90,000 Haitian expatriates reside. On a walk down Flatbush Avenue, you can hear Creole spoken, smell plantains frying, and pass shops where radios crank popular Haitian bands such as T-Vice and Sweet Mickey. The dramatic portrayal of the family will capture both the beauty and the dysphoria of a culture transplanted, exploring many of the cultural norms and conflicts that occur during American assimilation.
- Easmanie Michel (Writer/Director/Producer) is in her last semester at NYU/TISCH where she is a graduate student in Cinema Studies. Since 2004 she has continuously worked in the Film and Television industry. A list of her accomplishments include, executing a season of the TLC show, Miami Ink (2006), as an Assistant Production Coordinator. She has also worked on the feature film Transporter II (2005), Hoot (2006) and Miami Vice (2006). She has produced, written and directed several short films. A complete list of her production accomplishments can be found at her IMDB page.
- France-Luce Benson (Co-Writer) graduated from Carnegie Mellon University with an M.F.A. in Dramatic Writing, and was a two-time recipient of the Shubert Foundation Fellowship. Her play Fati's Last Dance received the Lorraine Hansberry Award for Playwriting from the Kennedy Center (Honorable Mention), won the Mary Marlin Fisher Award from Carnegie Mellon University, and was one of six plays selected for the inaugural Ignition Festival at Victory Gardens Theatre in Chicago. Healing Roots, her first feature length screenplay, was awarded $10,000 from the Alfred P. Sloan foundation. In 2010 Benson co-founded and served as Executive Director for the Caribbean Association for Females in Entertainment (CAFÉ) where she is still an active member.
- Darcy Miller (Co-Writer) is Owner/Executive Producer at See in the Dark Productions. She has written and produced a number of films, most recently A HUNDRED EIGHTY DEGREES - directed by James Westby (Rid of Me) and starring Darcy opposite Jonathan Togo (CSI:Miami). Darcy worked at NY Women in Film and Television and on various films in NYC before moving to Portland several years ago. As an actress, her work includes the cult hit Morris County (Reluctant Pictures), in which her performance as Ellie was called a “tour de force” by Fangoria magazine and “astonishing” by Rue Morgue; other work includes Grimm (NBC), and Matt Smart’s Chopin’s Preludes. Darcy graduated from Yale and the London Academy of Performing Arts. Her next film will be shot in NY spring of 2015.
- Trevite Willis (Producer) is a producer at Southern Fried Filmworks. Ms. Willis is responsible for production from the conceptual stage through completion, and handles negotiating and securing projects geared toward diverse audiences. She holds an MBA in International Business and has been continuously engaged in film production since 1999. Ms. Willis has produced independent music videos and feature films including the romantic comedy, What a Man Wouldn’t Do for a Woman, and the African-American gay coming-of-age, Blueprint, which enjoyed success at festivals such as the London Lesbian and Gay Film Festival, OutFest, NewFest, Frameline as well as others around the world. The 2008 Columbia University short film, Uncle Killa, she produced earned the director a DGA Best Student Film – African American award. Also Uncle Killa was selected as an HBO finalist at the American Black Film Festival, and picked up by HBO. She produced the award-winning Bahamian drama, Children of God, which is currently airing on Showtime. Children of God have had theatrical releases in the US, UK and The Netherlands. The film has won 17 awards, and has sold to 24 other territories. In addition, she produced the award-winning short, Passage with Children of God director. Currently, Ms. Willis is developing an action/thriller script, The Nigerian. Her music video productions have included works with Grammy nominees and winners including Shawn Mullins and Speech of Arrested Developmen
- Stephanie Dawson (Producer) has worked in film and television production for over ten years, after transitioning from a career in computer science. She worked on feature films including Kelly & Cal, Beneath and Happy Tears, and television shows such as Mercy, The Americans and The Celebrity Apprentice. She produced the 10-part web series Death's Door and a 6-part web series Scout & Maggie. She also produced the short film Hypothetically, which is currently in the film festival circuit. This is Dawson's first feature film. A complete list of her production accomplishments can be found at her IMDB page.
- Kay Hung (Director of Photography) obtained her BFA concentrating in Cinematography at the School of Visual Arts. From there she quickly became a camera assistant on many projects from music videos, to TV commercials, and even working for network television for clients such as Doritos, the Food Network, and music artists including Beyoncé, and the Strokes. Eventually, she began to start working as a Director of Photography, working on International Fashion product campaigns. In 2012, she was accepted as a fellow at the American Film Institute in Hollywood where she has been mentored by industry professionals and is about to receive her Masters in Cinematography.
HOW IS MY CONTRIBUTION HELPING?
- Payment for SAG actors -- We have several prominent actors attached to this film and the money from this campaign will go towards ensuring their participation.
- We will be able to film in some homes and businesses for little or no fee but will require additional funding for some authentic locations in order to bring our vision alive.
- Rental of camera, lighting, and sound equipment.
Risks and challenges
The biggest challenge we face is doing justice to Edwidge Danticat's very poetic and poignant story because this is the first time Danticat has allowed her work to be adapted into a feature film. We plan to meet this challenge by staying in touch with Mrs. Danticat, who has read the script, to ensure that the film remains true to the spirit of the story. Also writer/director Easmanie Michel has a similar background to the characters, giving her specific insight when bringing them to life.
Another major challenge includes making a film in New York City about such a specific culture on a very low budget. However, we have a few things on our side we can take advantage of for the sake of the film's integrity: we have built a team of talented, dedicated local professionals and artists who have agreed to discount their rates because they believe in the project and we are confident that our extensive network in Brooklyn, where the film is set, will support the production process. We strongly believe a look inside the Haitian-American experience will echo the immigrant experience in general, reaching a wide range of audiences.
An additional risk we face is funding post-production since this campaign is solely for principle photography. In post-production we will need to edit, do color correct, mix the sound, and create screening copies to submit to film festivals. Our approach is to create a rough cut using the proceeds from this campaign, and then seek additional support from organizations that fund post-production.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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