Renown Haitian movie producer Saintanor “St Mic” Camilus dares to bring to the screen one of the social plagues affecting modern day Haitians: shady marriages that break hearts and dashes hope.
Kado Bondye (Gift of God) is the story of God’s grace defying prejudice and bias to offer redemption and hope through an unlikely vessel.
Ken (Saintanor S. Camilus) is a pastor’s child with a physical attraction to Danielle (Michelle Georges) a young lady residing in Haiti. Ken engaged a relationship with Danielle over the objection of many, including his own father who prefers Natalie (Lala Senatus), a young congregant who is in love with Ken and is willing to even consider a love triangle. But Ken cannot get over the fact that Natalie stripped for a living and would be a stain on his standing as a Christian man. Yet when the dust is settled, he found compassion and grace from that most unlikely source.
Unlike previous movies he has directed, Saintanor S. Camilus plays the leading role in Kado Bondye which makes it even more challenging. It requires discipline and sacrifice. Mr. Camilus found himself in the difficult position of deciding logistics of the film, but also playing the leading role without compromising the quality of the movie and the standards he has set with his previous movies. “I don’t think I will go through that again, playing the leading role, writing and directing a film at the same time”, Camilus declared. “But it was a great learning experience. Wearing so many hats has allowed me to learn all aspects of filmmaking”, he added.
One of the greatest challenges in the Haitian film industry is funding. Producers – with very rare exception – must resign to their fate of extremely low budget production, which may impact the quality of the movie. Whereas in Hollywood, low budget movies would have a budget of a million dollar, Haitian movie producers have meager budget which makes hiring talents difficult. Yet Mr. Camilus has been able to be creative in finding low cost, quality tools to produce quality movies. He has a bachelor in Computer Science and is currently pursuing a master’s degree in Business Administration. Camilus Saintanor attends several film seminars which help him perfect his craft. He is very passionate about movie making. “I’m going to continue to learn new techniques to bring great film to the Haitian cinemas and beyond”, said Camilus.
All this paid off when he released Puissance de la Foi in 2014. The movie was nominated by the Motion Pictures Association of Haiti for best movie of the year, best actor (Saintanor Camilus), best supporting actor (Hubermann Saintil), best supporting actress (Regine Philippe), best director, best original script, best director of photography (Ron Mentor) and won the people’s choice award.
With his many responsibilities, Mr. Camilus could rely on some respected names in the industry: Ron Mentor has been very helpful in assisting with cinematography and film editing. Writer Rodly “Oz’mosis” Madeus, a childhood friend, collaborated as well in writing the scripts.
Soulful Haitian singer Regine Phillippe comes back to the big screen to play Danielle’s mother. The experience has been worthwhile. “Saintanor Camilus is one of the most professional and skillful Directors that I’ve had the pleasure to work with. The man is a perfectionist.” This is the second time Ms. Regine and Mr. Camilus have worked together. She was introduced to the big screen in Puissance de la Foi. “I read the script and saw it was a great and powerful story, which the character of Marline also suited me. So, I decided to put my talent to it”, she said. She is one actress Camilus can always rely on for future films. “I would definitely work with him again”, she added.
Another actress disclosed that she was also impressed by the script. Lala Senatus explained that:” From the moment I read the script, I knew this project would be phenomenal. What really made this movie appealing to me, it’s because I can relate to the story line. So, it was a no brainer to be part of something great.”
“I have known Saintanor for a long time and I had the chance to work with him before on Jean Claude Guillaune’s movie. I knew what a great director, he is, and if i have an opportunity to work with him, I would definitely do that”
“The one word I would use to describe the movie Kado Bondye is: COMPELLING”, said Michelle, who plays a leading role in the movie and whom Ken had fallen in love with the motion picture.
Alexande Saget, a preacher who plays Ken’s father, is a returning actor from Puissance De La Foi. He and Camilus have developed a great bond and have an incredible working relationship. “It was an opportunity to express the gift that God has given me and to share it with others”, stated Mr. Saget referring to his acting skills. “The title for itself says it all. A gift from God”, he added.
Ms. Regine Phillipe describes one of her favorite moments during the filming of Kado Bondye –“In one of my scenes, the most appealing part was the hospital scene when the doctor delivered the news of the diagnosis. There, the story came alive, so touching and surreal. I thought to myself, if it can have so much impact on me, so it will move the viewers on the big screen”.
Kado Bondye is scheduled to hit the big screen on August 25th, 2017 at Haiti’s famous, OASIS. More dates and locations Kado Bondye will be be screening will be published soon. This movie is expected to do very well when it comes out.