Rutshelle Guillaume, Michael Brun, Trace awards, Wanda,award, prize,
(from left to right) Rutshelle Guillaume with her trophy in the trace awards and Michael Brun performing at the Bayo Festival.

NEW YORK—Across this world this past weekend, Haitian artists and entertainers beat out competitors in almost every field to receive the top prizes in music and film contests worldwide. Here’s a roundup of who won big on the biggest stages.


Rutshelle Guillaume, Michael Brun take home top Trace Awards  prizes

Haitian artists Rutshelle Guillaume and DJ Michael Brun were the big Caribbean winners at the Trace Awards and Music Festival over the weekend in Kigali, Rwanda.

Held Saturday in partnership with Visit Rwanda and QA Venue Solutions Rwanda and the venue management company of BK Arena, the Traces bestowed the top award to Guillaume in the category Best Caribbean Artist of the Year 2023. Brun was recognized as Best DJ. 

Guillaume is one of the most popular female musical figures in the Haitian Music Industry (HMI). Her compositions combine World Music with Afrobeat. “Thank you, Haiti”, she wrote on her Instagram page.

Brun has garnered many awards over the last 10 years. He had been nominated for the Latin Grammy Award for Album of the Year, World Music Award 2014 for World’s Best Electronic Dance Music Artist.  

Known for blending electronic music with traditional Haitian styles such as konpa and rara, Brun has collaborated with American artist The Ready Set Band and released a remix to their song Good Enough, which reached number 40 on US Billboard Dance/Mix Show Airplay.

More than 150 artists were nominated in the awards ceremony, which showcased the excellence and diversity of Afrocentric music in genres such as Afrobeat, Dancehall, Hip Hop, Afro-pop, Mbalax, Amapiano, Zouk, Kizomba, Genge, Coupé Décalé, Bongo Flava, Soukous, Gospel, Rap, Rai, Konpa, R&B and Rumba.


Actress Benita Jacques’ film a winner at Cannes and Kinshasa film festivals 

Over in Cannes, filmmaker Benita Jacques received the prize for best feature-length documentary –  “Africa, Cradle of Humanity and Modern Civilizations” during the 20th edition of the Cannes International Pan-African Film Festival. The film also won the award for best feature-length documentary on the same day at the 10th edition of the Kinshasa International Film Festival.

This film is hailed as exceptional, unifying, visionary, revolutionary and hopeful, promoting intercultural dialogue and mutual respect between peoples.

“October 22, 2023, is now an unforgettable date for me as well as for all my fans.” She wrote on her Facebook page.

At a very young age, Benita Jacques realized that she and theater were born for each other. The trained actress who holds a DEC in Arts and Literature from Marie Victorin College and a Bachelor in dramatic arts from the University of Quebec in Montréal (UQAM) she continues to be active in various theatrical and film productions including: L’Auberge du chien noir, Mémoires Vives, just to name a few.

Haitian film “When night approaches” wins best foreign short film in Brazil

“When night approaches” – after winning the award for best documentary short film at the 31st edition of the Ciné Plaza de Cuba festival – won the best foreign short film award in Brazil during the  second edition of a university festival (22ª MAUAL).

The play in three acts is produced by Berline Charles and directed by Feguenson Hemogen who made his first documentary The Tear in 2016. 

“It’s good for the staff. We are young filmmakers. We need these positive points and when we know that there are experienced people in the sector who recognize your work, this increases your confidence to continue and believe in your ability… This is good news,” declared the director to Juno7.

Ralph Delly is an award-winning music and entertainment journalist with extensive experience covering the Haitian Music Industry and the Haitian-American community. He has worked in Haiti and the United States at such media organizations as Radio Metropole, WNWK/107.5 FM, Radio Soleil d’Haïti and The Haitian Time – where he penned the popular “The Delly Dish” gossip column. Dellys has worked with numerous artists in the HMI, including Zin, Lakol, Phantoms, Zenglen, Sokute, Jam, See Well and 509 – to name a few. Delly graduated from Carlos Albizu University of Miami and City College of New York (CUNY)

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