Back in December, we sat with local filmmaker and writer Joshua Jean-Baptiste to talk about his project, #Josh, making it to the final round for Project Greenlight's Digital Series contest. The HBO-backed company put out a call to young filmmakers all across the States offering a $25,000 grant (plus distribution) to one winner to bring their idea to
On Friday, Jean-Baptiste, along with his partner on the project Edson Jean, were announced as the winners.
"It feels like we're on cloud nine!" says Jean-Baptiste via email with New Times. "In my head, this project was small scale. I'm happy that Edson pushed this project along to heights that I could have never imagined!"
Chiming in, Jean jokingly puts his reaction in terms that only women would understand: "Imagine being in labor for two years, then finally giving birth to your baby and realizing it was all worth it... Okay, I'm exaggerating a bit, but It feels fantastic!"
The show will follow the titular character, Josh, as he grapples with the loss of his mother and moves into his cousin's apartment in downtown Miami.
Now that the duo has the funds, the next step is working on revitalizing the scripts and casting their lead. "First, we're going to develop the scripts so they're in tip-top shape before filming," explains Jean-Baptiste. "Then we begin pre-production, cast, shoot, edit, and, finally, Project Greenlight will get it out there for the world to see."
Jean adds that if you're an interested Haitian-American male, send them a resume and headshot at firstname.lastname@example.org.
"I can't remember the last time I saw a story focused on the Haitian-American experience," continues Jean, "so for Project Greenlight to trust us to take on this responsibility means a lot. On a scale from one to ten, my grateful meter reads at 100."
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"The fact that they selected two broke Haitian dudes in Miami is a blessing. It's nice to be recognized by a company in a field where it is almost an uphill battle to get your work out there. Our gratitude is endless. We know they have heart, and we're excited to work with them," adds Jean-Baptiste.
According to Indiewire, Brittany Turner, VP of Digital Video at Adaptive Studios says, "Project Greenlight Digital Studios was created in part to help find exceptional filmmaking talent by digging deep into communities we couldn't access before. #Josh is a perfect example of this, and we are thrilled to be able to share the high-quality content that Joshua and Edson created and to expose it to a wider audience."
"Since inception, we have gotten an unprecedented amount of support from friends, family, and the community. We're happy that we can deliver something that they helped with, and represent voices not often heard in the mainstream: the Haitian American," says Jean-Baptiste.