The Madan Sara Project: More than a Film

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Last week, our crowdfunding campaign to finalize production and host the first few public screenings of “Madan Sara” in Haiti was successfully completed. A note of gratitude, and what is to come from Madan Sara’s filmmaker, Etant Dupain:

I would like to thank everyone who helped us raise the money to support the Madan Sara film, turning a personal dream of mine into a collective reality. To everybody who supported the GoFundMe campaign, whether it was through financial contributions or by sharing it with your network, thank you for your support. I would also like to take this opportunity  to share a little bit about the long term vision of the Madan Sara project.


Madan Sara is more than just a film. As part of a broader project, the film will serve as a tool to put the Madan Sara at the center of the debate about economic development in Haiti - fostering discussion, empowering people to tell their own stories, and supporting communities to take action.  

Today it is critical that we think about economic development in Haiti differently and together prioritize efforts that produce results by investing in sectors with real potential for inclusive, sustained economic development. The Madan Sara sector needs support and it is imperative to find a way to modernize and invest in the sector without changing the core culture that makes it so successful. 

The Madan Sara project is an opportunity to work toward this. Our first initiative, as you may already know, will begin by showing the film in every commune across Haiti. It is an ambitious dream, but the Madan Sara team is ready to rise to the occasion. By launching popular universities, or open public debates, after each free public screening, we will be able to discuss matters of concern related to the well-being of the communities. As we host these debates in partnership with grassroots organizations, particularly women’s groups, we will focus on the role of women in the political and economic life of Haiti, on equality, and on an issue that is too often overlooked by society: violence against women and girls. 


The Madan Sara project also provides an opportunity to discuss Haiti’s position in the global economy. Between 30 and 40 years ago, the local production chain in Haiti enabled food to move first from farmers to the Madan Sara, then to the food storage warehouses and later to the markets. Today in Haiti, this production chain has radically changed, and we import more than we produce. Now, the production chain is generally dominated by goods from abroad, which are primarily managed by industrial importers who then import these goods to industrial food storage warehouses, and then to smaller storage facilities. The Madan Sara later acquire these goods and take them to the local markets. This new economic structure has significantly changed local economies - affecting both local consumers in Haiti and the profit margins of the Madan Sara - and has a direct impact on their livelihoods.


 To bring the Madan Sara project to life, we will partner with a wide range of people: local organizations, women’s groups, professors, victims of arson attacks at the markets, churches, vodouyizan, and diaspora communities. Collaboration is critical to increase the reach of the film and to ensure that more people are able to participate in the conversations. We are proud to have two great collaborations already underway with KOFAVIV, who works with women who have been victims of sexual violence, and Nègès Mawon, a feminist organization fighting for women’s rights in Haiti.


This project will take significant resources and support, but empowering communities is a dream worthy of pursuit. Oftentimes groups doing important work in Haiti struggle to secure funding, build global solidarity, and accomplish their goals because they are not the ones telling their own stories. It is not a bad idea to collaborate with international partners, but too often the story that comes out of these partnerships is more focused on successfully reaching foreign audiences rather than supporting the efforts of those who live the story. We are taking a different approach, and it is one that is more complex and will require more time and financial support. But just like the Madan Sara who never fail to deliver, together we will strive to build a better Haiti and along with it a better world.

We are excited that we get to work on this project together and hope you will stay engaged as our work progresses. Stay tuned!


Every dollar raised helps us take this effort further. Click below to make a donation today: