Chèche Lavi is a lyrical portrait of two Haitian migrants, Robens and James, who find themselves stranded at the US-Mexico border with no way forward and no one to depend on but each other.
Their unexpected friendship shines in the eye of an incomprehensible geopolitical storm, even as the two men drift towards drastically different futures, and a new wall rises on the horizon. This isn’t a film about crossing borders, but about how it feels when you can’t cross. And how it feels to start over as a stranger in a strange land.
Director Sam Ellison will be in attendance for a Q&A.
The core creative group of filmmakers here includes perspectives from all sides of the intercultural space our film depicts: Rachel Cantave (producer) is a Haitian-American anthropologist and Haitian Creole speaker who has done extensive field work in Brazil; Abraham Ávila (producer) is a filmmaker from Tijuana whose deep network of connections in his home city allowed incredible access; and Sam Ellison (director, based in New York) has deep experience in narrative cinematography and a documentary education from Harvard and Stanford. Sam is best known for his camera work on such films as Manchester By The Sea, A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood and Vox Lux. Chèche Lavi is his directorial debut, with its world premiere at IFFR Rotterdam in 2019.
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