We had the good fortune of connecting with Edson Jean and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Edson, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
Bantufy started to mend the lack of representation of Haitian, Caribbean and Hispanic communities in popular media. We wanted to shift the paradigm of the independent film industry and put the power and autonomy in the hands of the filmmaker.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
Being the child of immigrant parents from Haiti is at the core of my self and my artistic integrity. So much of what I absorb from my Haitian culture is embedded into the work that I create. What started off as self discovery transitioned into an expression of my self, my family, my friends and those around me. It is this process that led me to the creation of my debut feature film, “Ludi.” It follows a Haitian caretaker as she struggles to send money back home to Haiti. Through my art, I’m constantly learning about myself, and I hope that Haitians can see themselves through my work so that my process of self discovery can be extended through to them. And from this, we can start the process of healing from the many years of trauma that we experienced through slavery, cultural displacement, and immigration.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
This wild idea would not have been possible without the support of Oolite Arts. Oolite Arts is an arts support organization that wants to see Miami artists reach their fullest potential. It is through their mentorship and their Cinematic Arts Residency Grant that my team and I were able to fund our inaugural film, “Ludi.” If Oolite helped catapult the idea, then producer Fabiola Rodriguez helped actualize it. She has been a production industry kindred spirit who shares the same values and drive as we work together to achieve our goals. I’d also like to thank “Ludi” co-writer Joshua Jean-Baptiste, lead actor Shein Mompremier, our film’s cast and crew, and ultimately, my mommy, whom the film is based on.
Image #1: Courtesy of Terence Price II, Image #2 and #3: Courtesy of Bantufy Films, Image #4: Courtesy of Chris Diamond Photo