Eddie Hutton-Mills. Director BBC Kanaval: A Peoples History of Haiti in Six Chapters

Today my guest is the Director Eddie Hutton-Mills. Eddie co-directed Kanaval: A Peoples History of Haiti in Six Chapters with Leah Gordon.

Eddie Hutton-Mills is an award winning documentary filmmaker, who has made films for all the major UK & US broadcasters including the BBC, ITV and Channel 4. He’s also made biographical

feature films about Naomi Campbell and Diane Abbott. His passion is for making films about subjects that need confronting like Fighting The Power: Britain After George Floyd. He is currently directing a film for the prestigious BBC Storyville strand.

Eddie and I discuss Kanaval in this episode. A visually arresting feature documentary, set in the present but which tells the rich story of Haiti’s past, that follows a number of carnival performers in the lead-up to, and during, the annual Jacmel Mardi Gras. The performers relate their own personal histories as well as the stories of their carnival characters, which represent moments and people from the distant, and not so distant, Haitian past. Interwoven with the interviews, testimonies and observational footage is archive material, drawn from a wide variety of sources to enhance our understanding of Haitian history and culture from the time of the indigenous Taino through to the present day. This is not the carnival of sequins and sound systems found elsewhere in the Caribbean, but a celebration of rebellion and resistance resonating through the centuries.

The documentary was nominated for Best Debut Director and Best Cinematography in the British Independent Film Awards and Best Documentary at the London film awards, in 2022.

Watch Kanaval on BBCiPlayer

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