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Haitian Actor Jimmy Jean-Louis and Gheskio Make History In Cannes
- Monday, Jul. 12, 2021
Award-winning actor/philanthropist Jimmy Jean-Louis, and Haitian Health initiative Gheskio made history in Cannes yesterday afternoon.
Alta Global Media organized a special reception for the Haitian actor Jimmy Jean-Louis during the 74th annual Cannes Film Festival.
The daytime event was a sun-filled gathering on the Croisette taking place at the Grand Hotel's lawn in between screenings on Sunday afternoon.
The intimate cocktail celebrated Jean-Louis' recent collaboration and partnership with GHESKIO, a world renowned, health social services and HIV/TB research center in Haiti, leading the fight to combat Covid-19.
The reception also honored and brought together three Black filmmakers who are Official Selections of the festival, one day ahead of their World Premieres.
Two of the filmmakers are women including the film Freda with special guest Gessica Geneus (Director, Un Certain Regard) from Haiti and the film Neptune Frost with special guests, Saul Williams and Anisia Uzeyman (Directors, Director’s Fortnight) shot entirely in Rwanda. Cast members from both films attended the reception to celebrate.
Jean-Louis stated during his remarks: "Gheskio is a global leader in public health. The organization operates a network of clinics throughout Haiti. They've been the number one group in Haiti to fight against infectious diseases including HIV, Cholera and now Covid 19 and we couldn't be happier to bring awareness to this important cause. We are also honored to highlight two Black casts from Freda and Neptune Frost both premiering here at the Cannes Film Festival this week. It's also a special year in Cannes as for the first time we have a jury president who is Black, Mr. Spike Lee."
Born in Pétion-Ville, Haiti, Mr. Jean-Louis was named Ambassador-at-Large to Haiti by Haiti’s president in 2014. In his new role as Gheskio’s first Ambassador, Mr. Jean-Louis is working to raise the visibility of medical, social, and economic needs in Haiti and how Gheskio is working to address them.
Jean-Louis utilised the platform to address the recent assasination of slain Haitian President Jovenel Moïse. Ahead of his special address to the 60 guests, which included a variety of international filmmakers, producers and executives, he requested a moment of silence for the former president.
During the reception Jimmy Jean-Louis highlighted GHESKIO and the cast members of Neptune Frost and Freda during the ceremony.
Mr. Jean-Louis began his career as a dancer and a model in Europe and South Africa. Now based in Los Angeles, he is a producer and award-winning actor with a long list of credits, including the highly acclaimed Rattlesnakes, the NBC hit Heroes, and Joy featuring Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper. Mr. Jean-Louis and his films have won awards across the world, including the Best Lead Actor Award at the Africa movie Academy Awards 2020 for the movie Desrances. His most personal role was playing the title character in Toussaint Louverture, for which he was honored as Best Actor at the Pan African Film Festival.
GHESKIO operates a network of clinics in Port-au-Prince and throughout Haiti. It is an international leader in clinical care and research for HIV, tuberculosis and other infectious and chronic diseases. Since the earliest days of the HIV epidemic, GHESKIO has been at the forefront of the HIV response, implementing testing and prevention strategies and treatment protocols that have influenced guidelines worldwide over the last 39 years. GHESKIO has been a leader in Haiti’s decrease in HIV prevalence from 6.2% in 1993 to the current level of less than 2.0%. GHESKIO is also the Caribbean’s largest provider of tuberculosis diagnosis and treatment. GHESKIO is world-renowned for its research, with more than 35 years of continuous support from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for clinical trials and decades of support from PEPFAR (President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief) for the treatment and care of people living with HIV in Haiti. GHESKIO is a member of the prestigious AIDS Clinical Trials Group, and GHESKIO researchers have published over 250 peer-reviewed journal articles. Dr. Pape, who was born in Haiti, returned to his country after completing medical school at Cornell University. Dr. Pape who leads GHESKIO is one of nine members of the newly formed Science Council of the World Health Organization of which he will advise the organization about priorities and emerging global health issues.
About Alta Global Media
Alta Global Media specializes in management, production, marketing, and publicity for international talent and media companies. With offices in Beverly Hills and New York, Alta Global Media was created to represent and launch projects with the leading diverse voices from around the globe. On the production side, Alta Global is developing a number of high profile projects including the Black Wall Street feature film BLACK. The company is also eyeing opening an office in London in 2022.