Independent filmmaker Easmanie Michel is a woman who won’t sit still creatively. Her short film Minutes to Say Hi was recently screened at the Haiti Cultural Exchange Haiti Film Fest. The Harlem-based filmmaker has Caroline’s Wedding, another cinematic baby on the horizon. The feature is based on a short story written by Edwidge Danticat and Michel has already signed Vicky Jeudy of the Netflix series “Orange Is The New Black” as part of the cast. I took this time to discuss the film with the NYU grad, as well as the significance behind her handle on social media…Ugly Girls Can Rule The World.
Kreyolicious: If you had to do things over, would you have skipped college and just worked in the film industry?
I would not have skipped school because I think my studies in English literature, cinema theory and philosophy have given me a nuanced understanding about the topics I’ve wanted to address. I am intrigued with human consciousness, and my studies have enhanced my desire to explore, visually, the reasons people make certain choices in their lives. I have considered and encountered the more abstract textures of human experience through my studies.
Easmanie Michel having a squad moment with Edwidge Danticat, on whose short story her upcoming film “Caroline’s Wedding” is based on.
Kreyolicious: Your handle on social media is “Ugly Girls Can Rule the World.” Why that choice? And how come ugly girls run the world?
There is something about that handle that is appealing to me because it forces people to think about what is ugly and the nature of what is considered beauty in a cultural context. Some people are offended by the title and someone once told me it was “disingenuous.” And yet others understand that in some way there is power in reclaiming the word.
Perhaps if we change our relationship with it, it may also challenge aesthetic ideas of beauty. Our culture promotes an aesthetic point system that can often be demoralizing; there is an image of perfection that dominates our society. I feel this handle is “subversive,” in so far as it challenges that.
Kreyolicious: One of your next projects is Caroline’s Wedding with Vicky Jeudy. How is that coming along?
The project is coming along. Last year we participated in the Women at Sundance Financing and Strategy Intensive. We are still looking to capitalize the production through fundraising and investment.
I am looking to shoot the feature by the end of the year. We currently have a website where updates about the film can be found at www.carolinesweddingthefilm.com. Also, the project is fiscally sponsored by New York Women in Film and Television.
[Main Photo Credit: Tequila Minsky]
If you wish to make a tax-deductible donation to Caroline’s Wedding, the upcoming film from Easmanie Michel, you can do so by clicking here: