Haitian born actress, author and now producer, Garcelle Beauvais has teamed up with Emmy award-winning producer Lisa L. Wilson to produce Lalo’s House, a short film that tackles child exploitation In Haiti. Directed by Kelley “Kali” Chatman and starring Garcelle Beauvais, Jimmy Jean Louis, and Paul Beaubrun, Lalo’s House has won multiple awards at several US film festivals and is now competing for an Oscar academy awards. The film sheds light on modern-day slavery “Restavek,” an issue that is affecting 1 in 15 children in Haiti. Lalo’s House is an official selection of the prestigious Telluride Film Festival that kicks off Oscar season.
“This film sheds light on a most important principle: that people were created to be loved, and not to be used.”
– Jimmy Jean Louis.
Beauvais and Wilson, through their production company, Beauvais Wilson Productions hope to change the narrative in the film industry by providing opportunities for women and help lift up the next generation of creatives of color.
Lalo’s House was nominated for best short at Bronzelens and has won best short at multiple festivals including CineOdyssey Film Festival, Black Harvest Film Festival, and Haiti International Film Festival. Tell us a little bit about the process of bringing this project to the big screen?
Lisa: As a producer, I have a responsibility to not only create entertaining content but to also create content that matters. So when Garcelle told me about Lalo’s House, I didn’t hesitate to sign on with hopes of creating positive change. This project was a big challenge since we shot it in Jacmel, Haiti and Los Angeles. Private funding along with an amazing crew allowed our director, Kelley Kali, to create a powerful film.
You are both women of color creators, what are some of the challenges you have encountered in your respective careers?
Garcelle: As a woman of color, we always have to prove ourselves more than others! I have always been a fighter if there’s something I want to achieve, I persevere until I get it done! It’s just in my spirit! My mother taught me to never give up, which is why I am blessed to have sustained my career for so long.
Lisa: I’ve been in this business for a long time and as a woman of color, I had to not only work hard, I had to work harder than everybody else. I owe a lot to my parents because they instilled in me to take charge of my own journey and go after my dreams.
What advice do you have for young women of color who want to produce?…and what have you learned from being a mentor?
Lisa: My first piece of advice is to not be afraid, take a leap of faith. If producing is what you want to do, simply go after your dream and never look back. Second, set a path to your success. Find mentors or other women that can help guide you to where you want to go. Lastly, knowledge is power, so learn everything you can everywhere you go. Every position is worth learning from.
Garcelle, you recently blessed us with your presence in the hit television show, Power, what are some of the projects that you are currently working on?
Garcelle: I am currently working on the Siren (New Season starts in January) for Freeform as well as other projects I can not speak about right now.
Beauvais Wilson Productions, what brought the two of you together and what kind of projects should we expect from your production company
Lisa: I was the supervising producer on Hollywood Today Live and had the pleasure of producing Garcelle. I mean who doesn’t want to work with Garcelle Beauvais, by the way, she gets so embarrassed when I say that, but it’s true! We collaborated so well together and were always in sync creatively, so when it came to becoming producing partners it came naturally for us.
You have authored three children books, “ I Am Mixed,” “I Live in 2 Homes” and “I Am Awesome” what compelled you to write these stories?
Garcelle: My boys Jax & Jaid we’re my inspiration for these books. I couldn’t find books that celebrated diversity or books where they could see characters that looked like them and also spoke the experiences they were going through like living in two homes, and I AM Awesome celebrates what makes kids feel awesome.
There’s a lot of talk about the lack of diversity and inclusion in the film industry, how will BWP make a difference to change the narrative
Garcelle: We hope to make a difference by highlighting us as leads in movies & and television and by hiring female writers, producers, and crew as much as possible. When we are together, we are a force to be reckoned with!
Featured Image: Erick Robinson