I'm currently in preproduction for my latest short film, Lwa. I'm also in fundraising mode. Please take a moment to view my Kickstarter video and consider pledging and sharing the link in support of my film.
"The spirits talk with the faithful. They hug them, hold them, feed them, chastise them. Group and individual problems are aired through interaction with the spirits. Strife is healed and misunderstandings rectified."
-Karen McCarthy Brown, "Mama Lola"
A year ago, Odessa and her mother went to Haiti to visit family. There was an earthquake. Odessa returned, her mother did not. While Odessa's father struggles to understand the death of his wife, retreating into work and solitude, he leaves his nineteen year old daughter to take on the role of parent to two younger siblings. Odessa's understanding of her mother's death holds a different meaning, which drives her to look deeper for answers and guidance.
"Lwa, A Chorus of Voices" is an original script written and soon to be directed by Dehanza Rogers, a student in UCLA's MFA Directing program. The film will be shot on 16mm film.
WHY A FILM ABOUT HAITIAN VODOU?
We’ve seen Haitian Vodou in films before, but it’s been fetishized and distorted to serve narratives about the outsider caught up in the savagery or mystery of beating drums, animal sacrifices, and zombies. We can’t forget zombies. Rarely, do we see the religion through the eyes and point of view of the practitioner, the believer or within the everyday lives of ordinary people.
What role does Vodou play in not only personal inner conflicts, but in external conflicts between father and daughter, sister and brothers? "Lwa, A Chorus of Voices," a magical realist film about lwa, Haitian spirits, in the everyday lives of a family at a crossroads.
This film explores the tangible connection between religion and our personal choices, the boring daily ones to life changing choices. It explores how these choices are informed and influenced by family, identity and culture. Think of the of the lwa as the Greek Chorus, warning and advising characters or giving a gentle push, even a shove, in the right direction.