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Apolline Traoré’s much anticipated new film “DESRANCES” featuring Haitian actor Jimmy Jean-Louis to premiere at NYC’s Urbanworld Film Festival Sept. 21

September 13, 2019 at 12:11 pm | Entertainment

Francis Akhalbey

Francis Akhalbey | Staff Writer

September 13, 2019 at 12:11 pm | Entertainment

DESRANCES, starring Jimmy Jean-Louis

DESRANCES, a movie starring award-winning Haitian actor Jimmy Jean-Louis and Naomi Nemlin is set to premiere at the Urbanworld Film Festival in New York on Saturday, September 21.

Set in Côte d’Ivoire, DESRANCES centers around Francis (Jimmy), a family man expecting a second child, a son. Elated, he looks forward to the birth of his heir. For Francis, having a son is crucial since his country was devastated by a horrific earthquake in January 2010.

His joy of welcoming a son to his happy family is, however, short lived. While his wife, Aissey, is about to give birth, a civil war breaks out in Abidjan. After an ambush, his newborn son and his wife disappear, leaving him with no resort but to embark on a quest to search for them.

Despite his refusal, his 12-year-old daughter, Haïla decides to accompany him on his quest. On their journey, Francis discovers the unsuspected courage of Haïla.

DESRANCES is written and directed by Apolline Traoré. Born in Burkina Faso, Traoré had her college education at Emerson College in Boston after traveling around the world with her father who worked for the United Nations. She obtained her Bachelor’s degree in directing in 1998 and then moved to Los Angeles. Traoré, however, decided to return to her home country in 2008 to tell stories about her continent. Since then, she has made short films and television series, with DESRANCES being her third feature film.

A sought-after actor in Hollywood and Europe, Jimmy grew up in the slums of Petion-Ville in Haiti until age 12. Earlier in his career, Jimmy worked as a dancer and a model in France, Spain, Italy, South Africa and England. He moved to Los Angeles in 1998 to pursue acting. His credits include Tears of the Sun (Bruce Willis), Phat Girlz (Mo’Nique), NBC Hit show Heroes, CW show Arrow, CBS Extant with Oscar winner Halle Berry and produced by Steven Spielberg.

More recently, he was part of the cast of David O. Russell directed movie Joy with Jennifer Lawrence, Bradley Cooper and Robert DeNiro. Jimmy is also a regular on the TV show CLAWS for TNT. Jimmy is also widely known for playing the title character in “Toussaint Louverture.”

DESRANCES will be screened at the AMC Empire 25 Times Square – Theater 10 at 12:30 pm with Jimmy and Apolline in attendance. There’ll also be a 10 Minute Q&A with Jimmy and Apolline after the screening.

Click here for tickets.

Founded in 1997, the Urbanworld Film Festival is one of the “largest internationally competitive festivals of its kind.” Annually, the festival selects a wide variety of films “representing the broadest lens of diversity across stories, characters, themes, and cultures.”

“Each year we strive to expand our programming slate to expose stories, themes, and characters that have been under-represented in our world. This year is no exception,” Urbanworld Film Festival Festival Director & Head of Programming, Gabrielle Glore said in a statement, according to The Root. “What is most exciting to see is the continued elevation of quality manifested across our content creators’ work, as we celebrate their creativity and craft.”

Watch the trailer below:

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