Academy-Award winning director Francis Ford Coppola is supporting Haitian filmmaker Gessica Geneus’ new film, “Freda,” in a bid for an Oscar.
Deadline Hollywood reported last week that Coppola will be an executive producer on the film, which will be submitted to the Academy Awards as the International Feature submission for Haiti.
Film buffs and Haiti culture lovers alike quickly took to social media to show their excitement.
“Huge news for [Haitian cinema] and for the Oscar chances of Gessica Geneus,” tweeted Alyssa Sepinwall, an academic who has written about Haitian film.
“Freda” is only the second Haitian film in history to be submitted in the International Feature category after 2017’s “Ayiti Mon Amour, ” according to The Miami Herald.
“It is my humble honor to serve as the executive producer of “Freda” in support of Gessica and the wonderfully creative and artistic film community in Haiti,” said Coppola, who supports a film institute in Haiti.
The 93-minute “Freda” debuted at the Cannes Independent Film Festival earlier this year to positive acclaim. It focuses on the realities of everyday life in Haiti for a family in Port-au-Prince. Although the family is able to survive financially on their street shop, outbreaks of violence make them question whether they should stay in Haiti.
Geneus, an actress and director, is known for such films as “Kidnapping, Inc.” and “Cousines.” She has previously worked with directors Raoul Peck, Philippe Niang and Kareem Mortimer.
The 94th annual Academy Awards will be held in Hollywood next March.