Open Air Cinema's Screening of Haitian Presidential Debates in Camp Champs de Mars, Port-au-Prince, Haiti
Last night we continued our outdoor movie screening of the Haitian Presidential Debates, this time in Camp Champs de Mars, Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Camp Champs de Mars lies right in the middle of Port-au-Prince, and we were right next to the presidential palace that toppled in the earthquake more than a year ago. We set up the Open Air Cinema inflatable screen right in the middle of the street. We received permission from the mayor of Port-au-Prince to block of the entire street for the duration of the screening. The event was a huge success, with thousands of camp residents and passers by in attendance. We estimate the event to be one of our largest yet. Camp Champs de Mars is different from many of the refugee camps we have screened at so far, in that it lies right within downtown, in the middle of Port-au-Prince. The camp is situated among many street vendors and businesses, and surrounds the national and city government buildings. We are grateful that we had the ability to bring the presidential debates to a community who otherwise would not have the opportunity to be aware of the intricacies of the dialog surrounding the elections. We noticed that the residents of camp Champ de Mars were particularly interested in the debates, as they erupted with cheer when the candidates responded to each other's questions. It is very clear that this election is a significant point for the people of Haiti, as they struggle to rebuild their lives and communities in the aftermath of a disaster that has left them in such a dire situation. We can feel the excitement in the city as everyone looks forward to the elections this upcoming Sunday. We are reminded again of the power of outdoor cinema and its ability to educate and inspire, especially in such troubling circumstances. FilmAid international has been a pleasure to work with, and we have developed a significant partnership with them and the local Haitians we have been training to utilize the outdoor movie equipment for future endeavors. We have a couple days off to prepare for our triple screening on Thursday, and our double screening on Friday. We will be using two Open Air Cinema Cinebox systems, and a third outdoor movie system that is owned by FilmAid International. The teams of local technicians have been trained in advance of the multiple screenings, and we anticipate it to be a busy couple nights as we screen the second round of presidential debates. Keep checking back here at the blog, as we'll continue to update with images and reports of how things are going. If you have any questions about Open Air Cinema's humanitarian efforts in Haiti or our other international endeavors, please contact us today! We would love to share how we are striving to change the world through the power of outdoor cinema. Below are some images from last night's outdoor movie screening in Camp Champ de Mars.