Actress, director, producer, Fabienne Colas works tirelessly and passionately to support and promote independent cinema around the globe (particularly black cinema). This is one of the reasons she set up the Fabienne Colas Foundation and then created the Montreal International Black Film Festival MIBFF (formerly the Montreal Haitian Film Festival), which has become not only Canadas biggest balck film festival, but also a key player in cultural diversity in Quebec by promoting independent authors films from here and abroad.
Considered by many as the most popular actress in Haitian cinema, Fabienne started out as a model, was crowned Miss Haiti in 2000 and has represented Haiti in numerous beauty contests around the world.
A woman of action with a creative spirit, Ms. Colas is a woman of many talents: she is the President and Founder of her self-titled foundation, of the Montreal International Black Film Festival, of the Haiti en Folie Festival in Montreal (Haiti on fire), the Toronto Black film Festival (TBFF), the Festival Fade to Black and of the Quebecois Film Festival in Haiti, and is also very active at the production company, Zaza Productions.
In 2003, she was awarded the Ticket dOr (golden ticket) in Haiti for best actress for her role in the film Barikad (directed by Richard Sénécal) and was also nominated for this same role at the Haitian Entertainment Awards in Florida. She has acted on both the big and the small screens in a number of productions in Quebec, Canada (Watatatow, lAuberge du chien Noir, Comment Conquérir lAmérique en une nuit). Ms. Colas is a member of both the Union des Artistes (UDA) and the Alliance of Canadian Television and Radio Artists (ACTRA) in Montreal. She has sat on a number of prestigious juries in the arts community in Quebec, including that of the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec.
Winner of the Black History Month Award in 2010, Fabienne is a charismatic leader with an unwavering persistence and perseverance who makes things happen. Once she gets started, nothing can stop her. Her primary mission is to continue to create platforms that show a diversity of voices, faces and points of view.
In 2008, she made her first film, Minuit, a narrative feature on voodoo in which she also played the leading role.
She obtained from the Canadian Radio-television Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) a licence for two new television stations, provisionally called Diversité TV and Bon Goût TV, with a view to promoting a better representation of cultural diversity on televisions in Quebec and Canada and providing a window to those who would, otherwise, never be seen or heard.
Fabienne has been part of many juris among which the Prix Gémeaux and Conseil des Arts et des Lettres du Québec (Quebec Council for the Arts). She currently sits as a board member on several organizations including the Society for the Celebrations of Montréals 375th Anniversary.
Every year, Fabienne also contributes to fundraising campaigns for various social, humanitarian, community and cultural causes.
She is the President and Founder of the Fabienne Colas Foundation, a foundation dedicated to changing the way people see the world through cinema, art and culture. She is also the founding president of many popular international festivals that attract more than one hundred thousand festival-goers each year, international celebrities and incredible media coverage: the Montreal International Black Film Festival (MIBFF), Canada’s largest black film festival; the Toronto Black Film Festival (TBFF); the Festival Haïti en Folie (Haiti on Fire) (in Montreal), the largest multi-disciplinary festival outside Haiti entirely dedicated to Haitian culture; the Festival Fade to Black, , dedicated to celebrating Black History Month; the Quebecois Film Festival in Haiti; and many more.
Fabienne is also the CEO of Zaza Production dedicated to organizing cultural events, managing various trademarks, creating and managing Websites, and producing independent films and content. Her organization has already carried out projects for both cultural businesses and foreign organizations such as the European Union. In 2011, she obtained a licence for two new cable television stations from the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC), which she intends to develop with a view to promoting a better representation of cultural diversity on televisions in Quebec and Canada and providing a window to individuals who would, otherwise, never be seen or heard.
After the January 2010 earthquake in Haiti, Fabienne appeared on all the media platforms calling on Canadian government authorities to soften immigration rules and encouraging them to make it easier for Haitian nationals affected by the earthquake to come to Canada. As a result, the government accelerated the reunion of families through special and exceptional measures. She also called on telecommunications companies to allow Haitians living in Canada to call their loved ones in Haiti for free, which the Vidéotron phone company agreed to do 48 hours later, for 30 days. Lastly, Fabienne was one of the thousands of voices to call on the general public to give generously for the cause, on top of having herself taken part in fundraising events to support various humanitarian organizations such as the Red Cross.
As an actor from a culturally diverse community living in Quebec since 2005, Fabienne is invited in this capacity to various discussion panels, conferences, debates, consultations and interviews to discuss issues connected with festivals and with the representation of diversity in the Canadian media and on the job market. She mentors various young people and immigrants. Fabienne has often become involved with underprivileged youth in schools and community centres on the issues of staying in school, academic achievement, self-esteem and excellence. She continues to fight for the representation of diversity on screens and in the media, as well as for equal opportunity for all!
Fabienne openly campaigned for Barack Obama in 2008. Through telephone calls, social networks and media appearances commenting on American politics, she encouraged her family, friends, loved ones, as well as the general public in the U.S. to go out and vote in these more than historic elections. She continues to get involved in each election, particularly in her community, to persuade the people of cultural communities and immigrants to exercise their right to vote in Canada in federal, provincial and municipal elections.
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