It was Belle who persuaded Karan to visit. “There’s been a trend of Hollywood endorsing Haiti from the angle of corporate social responsibility. Donna is part of that, but she’s gone the extra step seeing where the talent lies,” he says.
“There’s a great synergy behind what Michael is doing. I stand shoulder to shoulder with him,” says Belle, who hopes to attract the New York and Miami Beach fashion industry to Jacmel, providing work experience for students at the film school. “There’s such a wealth of talent here that needs to be nurtured.”
Bello fell in love with Jacmel three years ago, and now divides her time between Los Angeles and Haiti. She recently finished filming the pilot for a U.S. version of the hit British detective series Prime Suspect, due out on NBC in the fall, as
well as a movie, Beautiful Boy, with Michael Sheen, to be released in June.
“When you realize that Haiti is only one-and-a-half hours [by plane] off our shores, it makes you want to do something about it,” she says.
I wonder if the people in Haiti want to turn their beaches into tourist destinations? Michael Capponi is a good man for trying to bring development to a nation that needs it, and I just hope the people there are willing to be helped. A person can offer all the support in the world, but if the person receiving it isn’t interested then the effort won’t yield results. That doesn’t mean that the effort is a waste though. You never really know how a person will respond to a situation, be it a disaster or a sincere offer to help, until they’re given that chance. Most were willing to let Haiti stand alone, but Michael is taking that chance to see what happens. He already knows the people and their outlook though, so for him I guess it’s not a question or a risk. He was there, and he knows what to do.