On January 23, 2015, the short film Papa Machete will make its U.S. premiere at the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah, one of the most prominent film festivals in the world. Founded in 1985 by actor Robert Redford, Sundance has launched the careers of many of Hollywood’s most acclaimed independent directors such as Quentin Tarantino and Steven Soderbergh.
Drawing on Haiti’s revolutionary history and modern struggles, the short documentary explores the mysterious martial art of tire machèt — Haitian machete fencing — through the practice of one man, an impoverished Haitian farmer named Alfred Avril.
A new trailer for the film can be viewed at the following link: https://vimeo.com/112665822
Papa Machete’s selection by Sundance is a yet another breakthrough for the film. In September 2014, the short film world premiered at the celebrated Toronto International Film Festival.
Papa Machete is the first release from Third Horizon, a Miami-based film, music and art collaborative that aims to explore the stories and culture of the Caribbean and the so-called third world with new levels of nuance and insight. Third Horizon was recently a winner of the Knight Foundation’s prestigious Knight Arts Challenge, in support of its upcoming film, art and music festival.
Third Horizon was first founded in 2006 by Bajan writer, musician and filmmaker Jason Fitzroy Jeffers as a record label through which to distribute his album, “Paradise Low”. In 2013, he was joined by Jamaican-American artist/filmmaker Keisha Rae Witherspoon and Jamaican-American musician and filmmaker Robert Sawyer to expand Third Horizon into an outlet through which to produce further work across all media, and also to raise the profile of fellow cutting-edge Caribbean filmmakers, musicians, writers and artists whose work defies popular notions of Caribbean art.
The film’s acceptance to Sundance comes after the filmmakers mounted a successful Kickstarter campaign to raise funds for post-production, and also for the construction of a new training facility and living quarters for Avril, whose home was damaged during the 2010 earthquake.