New film 'Desrances' casts lead actor from Brooklyn

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The movie "Desrances" is being screened this weekend, and the lead actor has ties to our borough.

Jimmy Jean-Louis is a Haitian-born actor who used to live right along Vanderbilt Avenue in Brooklyn. He says a lot has changed since he last lived here.

The team behind "Desrances" is in New York City this weekend for the screening as well as the awards ceremony for Urbanworld Film Festival.

While Jean-Louis now calls Los Angeles his home, Brooklyn is where he got his start. He's proud to be a leading actor in the film, which details a man from Haiti who moves to the Ivory Coast.

In the film, the man marries and has a daughter and is overjoyed when his wife becomes pregnant with a son. However, it's the same time that a civil war breaks out in the African nation.

The director, who is from Burkina Faso, chose the accomplished actor because she felt he would be the best to tell the story. The director wanted to highlight the struggle that some countries face.

The director also wanted to highlight how women and girls are sometimes treated.

"It was interesting for me to portray that kind of character and very challenging as well because as a Haitian I've traveled my entire life, and the Haitian is always being pointed out and most of the time for the wrong reasons and I take a lot of pride to sort of correct that so to speak," said Jean-Louis.

This will also be Burkina Faso's official entry for The Oscars in the Foreign Language film category. That ceremony will be held in February 2020. 

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