|| RAOUL PECK was born in
Port-au-Prince, Haiti. In 1961 his parents fled the Duvalier
dictatorship, finding asylum and a new life in the recently independent
Republic of Congo, which became their second home for nearly 25 years.
Raoul Peck attended school in Leopoldville, later public school in
Brooklyn, NY and finally Orleans, France. Upon completing his
Baccalaureat, he left for Germany where he studied economics and
industrial engineering. After completing his diploma, Raoul Peck worked
for one year as a taxi driver in New York City while awaiting his
acceptance at the German Film and Television Academy (DFFB) in Berlin.
He was accepted along with 17 other colleagues into the class of 1984.
While a student at the DFFB, Peck completed his first award-winning
full-length feature--a film made for $150,000--HAITIAN CORNER, shot in
Brooklyn and in Haiti. Other projects soon followed, establishing him as
one of the most prominent and prolific black filmmakers.
Between 1982 and 1990, Peck worked on numerous
development projects in Europe and in Africa. He taught at the Berlin Film
and Television Academy, at the F.E.M.I.S. (France's national film school)
where he worked with Krzysztof Kieslowski and Agnieska Holland, and at NYU's
Tisch School of the Arts. He returned to Haiti as Minister of Culture in the
government of Prime Minister Rosny Smarth after the restoration of
Following political confusion and an 18-month struggle, Peck, along with
Prime Minister Smarth and several other Ministers, resigned from his post.
He left behind a number of important development projects, most importantly
the groundwork for the first National Cultural Plan Directive of the
Republic of Haiti.
Peck resumed his career as a filmmaker with the award-winning,
feature-length documentary LUMUMBA - DEATH OF A PROPHET (1992) and MAN BY
THE SHORE (1993), the first Caribbean film to be selected in Competition at
the Cannes Film Festival. LUMUMBA was also presented at Directors Fortnight
at the Cannes Film Festival .
Peck is the President of the Caribbean Federation of Film and Video, a
member of the German Writer's Guild, and a member of the influential French
Authors/Directors/Producer's Guild (ARP). In April 2000 he was named
President of the French commission "Fond Sud" which allocates production
funds of 2.5 million U.S. dollars in over 85 countries.
Peck is the Founder of the Fondation Forum Eldorado, dedicated to cultural
development in Haiti and the Caribbean and working with schools and
underprivileged communities in Haiti. For the work of the Fondation, Peck
bought a movie theatre called the Eldorado in Port-au-Prince. With the help
of contributions, the theatre has become one of the rare local facilities
affordable to local artists and schools.
Awards include the 1994 Nestor Alemendros and the 2001 Irene Diamond
Lifetime Achievement Award from the Human Rights Watch Organization. He has
been decorated with the Honor and Merit Order (Knight) in Haiti and the
Order of Arts and Literature (Knight) in France.
In 1997 Peck was guest artist at the Dokumenta in Germany, one of the two
major world exhibits of contemporary art, where he produced and exhibited
his award-winning film CHERE CATHERINE.
Recent retrospectives of Peck's work have been held at Les Journees
Cinematographiques de Lussas (August 1998), the American Museum of Natural
History, Margaret Mead Film & Video Festival (November, 1998), and The
Puerto Rican International Film Festival (September 1998).
Peck's films have been shown at dozens of international festivals, including
those in Cannes, Berlin, Toronto and New York. He has received numerous
awards and prizes for his work. Peck's films have been released theatrically
and on television throughout the world. Peck has authored a book entitled
"Monsieur Le Ministre, Jusqu'au Bout de la Patience" on his political and
personal experience as the Minister of Culture in Haiti.
Awards and prizes for LUMUMBA include:
Best Film, Pan African Film Festival LA 2001
Paul Robeson Award, Fespaco 2001
Best Film, Santo Domingo International Film Festival 2001
Audience Prize, Best Actor, Jury Prize, Grand Prize OCIC, 11th African Film
Festival, Milan Italy 2001
Best Film by A Foreign Director, Acapulco Black Film Festival 2001
Raoul Peck lives and works in Voorhees, New Jersey, in Paris, France and the
tiny town of Port a Piment, Haiti, where he owns two cows and a modest