NEW YORK (April 25, 2014)—“AfroPoP: The Ultimate Cultural Exchange,” the innovative documentary series of independent films on contemporary life, art and pop culture across the African Diaspora, returns to WORLD Channel during Caribbean Heritage Month with a special on the sad plight of legal immigrants deported to Haiti from the U.S. for legal infractions. “Deported,” by Rachèle Magloire and Chantal Regnault, makes its U.S. television premiere on Sunday, June 8, at 9pm ET/8pm CT/7pm MT/6pm PT. “AfroPoP” is hosted by acclaimed actor Anthony Mackie, produced by National Black Programming Consortium (NBPC), and co-presented by American Public Television (APT).
Since 1996 and 2002, respectively—barring a one-year respite following the deadly Haitian earthquake of January 2010—the United States and Canada have each implemented a policy of repatriation of all foreign residents who have committed crimes on their soil. These infractions range from violent crimes to convictions for such offenses as driving while intoxicated or petty theft. “Deported” follows seven of these North American offenders as they return to Haiti for the first time since leaving as children to face an unfamiliar and hostile homeland.
The film exposes the heavy burden facing Caribbean and Latin American countries due to the forced “migration” of these immigrants—who often have no family ties and no support system in the new environment to help them re-integrate into society.
“With many deportees to Haiti having no family members there or knowledge of the native language and sometimes even being homeless, they often fight for barest survival,” said Magloire and Regnault, who followed the deportees for three years while capturing the anguish, anxiety and regret of their families left behind in North America. “We felt we needed to turn a spotlight on this practice as well as to educate young immigrants to the especially stiff penalties they can face for sometimes minor violations.”
“When immigration hits the headlines, rarely are people of African descent being discussed, yet U.S. immigration policies are affecting increasingly diverse black communities—a fact that is often overlooked both in the black community and on the national scene,” said NBPC Vice President and Director of Programming Leslie Fields-Cruz, who is also co-executive producer of “AfroPoP.” “We hope to shed light on often-forgotten people and on issues that should be a central part of the conversation on immigration.”
NBPC will also offer additional online programming in June surrounding the special. A series of Caribbean shorts will screen on NBPC’s website, www.blackpublicmedia.org. The first two shorts, together with “Deported,” are part of a three-part examination of immigration from the Afro-Caribbean perspective. These films include Kareem Mortimer’s “Passage,” in which a Haitian woman and her brother are smuggled on a fishing vessel to the Bahamas (June 2); and Lisa Harewood’s “Auntie,” which focuses on an often ignored side effect of migration: the disruption and heartache in the lives and relationships of the people left behind (June 16). On June 23 “Vivre,” by Maharaki, will screen. In this short, a teacher asks her class what they want to do when they grow up; while his classmates happily respond, Tom, a quiet 10-year-old boy, slips away. Rounding out the program on June 30 will be the documentary short “Small Man” by Mariel Brown, which follows an ordinary man of modest means who creates models, dollhouses and more in a small workshop in his home.
Along with WORLD Channel airings, APT will distribute “AfroPoP” to local public television stations nationwide in June 2014.
ABOUT THE HOST
Anthony Mackie is an American television, feature film and stage actor. A graduate of the Juilliard School’s Drama Division, Mackie was first discovered playing the role of Tupac Shakur in the off-Broadway production “Up Against the Wind.” Shortly thereafter, he made an auspicious film debut as Eminem’s nemesis, Papa Doc, in Curtis Hanson’s “8 Mile.” His performance caught the attention of Spike Lee, who cast Mackie in the 2004 Toronto Film Festival’s Masters program selections “Sucker Free City” and “She Hate Me.” He also appeared in Clint Eastwood’s Academy Award-winning “Million Dollar Baby,” opposite Hilary Swank, Morgan Freeman, and Eastwood. Additional film roles include “We Are Marshall”; “Half Nelson,” with Ryan Gosling; “Night Catches Us,” opposite Kerry Washington; “The Adjustment Bureau,” which also featured Matt Damon and Emily Blunt; “Real Steel,” with Hugh Jackman; “Gangster Squad,” where he shared the screen with Sean Penn, Josh Brolin, Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling; “Pain & Gain,” with co-stars Mark Wahlberg and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson; and “Runner, Runner,” alongside Ben Affleck, Justin Timberlake and Gemma Arterton. Mackie earned IFP Spirit Award nominations for his performances in Rodney Evans’ “Brother to Brother” and Kathryn Bigelow’s “The Hurt Locker.”
His theatrical credits on and off Broadway include “Drowning Crow,” “McReele,” “A Soldier’s Play,” and “A Behanding in Spokane.” Earlier, his Broadway debut was as the stuttering nephew, Sylvester, alongside Whoopi Goldberg in August Wilson’s “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.” He won an Obie Award for his role in Carl Hancock Rux’s “Talk.”
Mackie recently joined the Marvel Comics family playing Sam Wilson/the Falcon in “Captain America: The Winter Soldier,” released in April.
ABOUT THE FILM
by Rachèle Magloire and Chantal Regnault
Every two weeks, about 50 Haitian nationals are deported from the United States; 40 percent are convicted legal residents who completed their jail sentence in America. To a lesser extent, Canada applies a similar policy. Through the portraits and interviews of four deportees in Haiti and their families in North America unfold the tragedy of broken lives, forced separation from American children and spouses, alienation and stigmatization endured in a country they don’t know and don’t understand, since most of them left at a very early age. English is their language and North American culture their reference. They experience deportation as a cruel and unusual punishment and are longing for home. Most will fail to reintegrate in a poor and battered country that has so little to offer them. The subject matter goes far beyond the borders of Haiti and addresses the global issue of migratory policies.
Rachèle Magloire (co-director/producer) was born in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, and raised in Montreal, Quebec, where she graduated in Communications from Université du Québec à Montréal. She returned to Haiti, where she worked as a reporter for Télé Haiti and wrote for Haïti en Marche, a weekly published in Miami. She worked as chief editor and news director for Haiti National Television, as a writer for the Montreal dailies La Presse and Le Devoir as well as Le Point, a Radio Canada TV magazine. Since 1995, she has directed documentaries for Productions Fanal, an audiovisual production company she founded with director of photography and director Carl Lafontant. Additionally, she is involved with Sinema Anba Zetwal/ Cinema Under the Stars, a dynamic audiovisual mobile structure that screens movies and social messages to large audiences all over the country. In 2011, Vues D’Afrique, a Montreal-based film festival, awarded Rachèle and her sister Laurence Magloire, the CIRTEF Prize for services rendered to humanity.
Chantal Regnault (author/co-director) was born in France and moved to the United States, where she settled in New York City and studied at New York University. Primarily a photojournalist, she has been published in numerous newspapers and magazines: The New York Times, The Village Voice, Libération, Newsweek, Vanity Fair, Aperture, Geo and Photo. Her work has been exhibited in the United States, Europe and Haiti and belongs to the following collections: UCLA Fowler Museum of Cultural History, Los Angeles; The William Benton Museum of Arts, University of Connecticut; Museum für Kunst und Geschichte, Freiburg; La Maison Européenne de la Photographie, Paris.
She has worked in the preparation and production of a dozen documentaries, among them Haïti, la fin des chimères? by Charles Najman (2004); In the Mirror of Maya Deren by Martina Kudlácek (2001) and a BBC series, Zombies of Haiti (1996).
ABOUT THE PRESENTERS
ABOUT NATIONAL BLACK PROGRAMMING CONSORTIUM
National Black Programming Consortium, a national, nonprofit media arts organization, is the leading provider of black programming on public television and the greatest resource for the training of black media professionals within the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS). Black Public Media develops, produces and funds television and online programming about the black experience. Since its founding in 1979, it has provided hundreds of broadcast hours documenting African American history, culture and experience to public television. For more on NBPC and its initiatives, visit http://blackpublicmedia.org.
ABOUT WORLD CHANNEL
The WORLD Channel is a 24/7 public television channel dedicated to delivering the best of public television’s nonfiction, news and documentary programming, and a growing schedule of original content from independent producers. The complementary website www.WORLDchannel.org expands on broadcast topics and fuels content across social media, providing opportunities for broad and diverse audience interaction. WORLD is produced and distributed by WGBH Boston, WNET New York Public Media and American Public Television (APT) in association with the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) and the National Educational Telecommunications Association (NETA). The WORLD channel is available in markets representing more than 57 percent of US TV households, and 15 of the top 25 markets, including New York, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Dallas, Boston and Atlanta. Funding for WORLD is provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) and The Ford Foundation.
ABOUT AMERICAN PUBLIC TELEVISION
American Public Television (APT) has been a leading distributor of high-quality, top-rated programming to the nation’s public television stations since 1961. APT also has distributed about half of the top 100 highest-rated public television titles for nearly 10 years. Among its 300 new program titles per year, APT programs include prominent documentaries, news and current affairs programs, dramas, how-to programs, children’s series and classic movies. “America’s Test Kitchen From Cook’s Illustrated,” “Rick Steves’ Europe,” “Doc Martin,” “Nightly Business Report,” “Moyers & Company,” “NHK Newsline,” “Lidia’s Italy in America,” “Globe Trekker,” “Simply Ming,” “BBC World News” and “P. Allen Smith’s Garden Home” join numerous documentaries and performance programs popular with public television viewers. APT licenses programs internationally through its APT Worldwide service. Now in its seventh year, Create® TV—featuring the best of public television’s lifestyle programming—is distributed by APT. APT is also a partner in WORLD, public television’s premier news, science and documentary channel. To find out more about APT’s programs and services, visit APTonline.org.