About Fabienne

Award-winning actress, filmmaker, speaker, business owner and consultant, Fabienne Colas is the ‘Queen of Festivals’ who created and manages 7 successful festivals between Montreal, Toronto, Halifax, New York City and Port-au-Prince.

About Fabienne

Award-winning actress, filmmaker, speaker, business owner and consultant, Fabienne Colas is the ‘Queen of Festivals’ who created and manages 7 successful festivals between Montreal, Toronto, Halifax, New York City and Port-au-Prince.

The Artist

Award-winning actress, director, producer and speaker, Fabienne Colas is still considered by many today as the most popular actress of Haitian cinema. She has received several awards, including the Ticket d’or (golden ticket) for best actress for Barikad in Haiti. Fabienne started out as a model, she was crowned Miss Haiti 2000 and has representer the country in numerous beauty contests around the world. After a very successful film career in Haiti, Fabienne decided to give it a try in Quebec and played roles in various Quebec productions on both small and big screen (Watatatow, L’Auberge du chien noir, Comment conquérir l’Amérique en une nuit by Dany Laferrière, Virginie, Trauma, etc.). In 2008 she directed and produced her first film, Minuit, in which she also played the leading role. Her film was selected for the Rendez-vous du cinéma québécois in 2009 and for the Montreal Haitian Film Festival in 2008.

The Philanthropist

When she became aware of the situation of black artists in Quebec, Fabienne decided to throw herself body and soul into supporting and promoting black culture and independent films on the international scene. She created her self-titled foundation in order to accomplish this. Fabienne’s mission is to continue to create platforms that show a diversity of voices, faces and points of view. 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.

The Entrepreneur

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.

The Activist

 

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!

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.

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.

Fabienne (Colas) is blessed with so many TALENTS and helpful to so many people. The world needs that energy and determination.

Stedman Graham

Stedman Graham
Bestselling author and entrepreneur

It has taken Fabienne Colas five years to do here (in Quebec) what it would sometimes take most Haitians 30 years to accomplish.

Dany Laferrière
Dany Laferrière
Author, Member of the Académie française (French academy)

Veritable success story… this actress turned formidable businesswoman has the talent to make things happen.

Jean-Christophe Laurence

Jean-Christophe Laurence
La Presse

The latest mission of overachiever Fabienne Colas is to bring diversity to Quebec television.

Brandan Kelly

Brandan Kelly
The Gazette

The woman behind this festival (Toronto Black Film Festival) is Fabienne Colas. Actress, director, producer, she has always cared about promoting independent cinema across the globe.

Magalie Homo

Magalie Homo
l’Express

Girl from Haiti, woman of action.

Nathalie Pétrowski

Nathalie Pétrowski
La Presse

People who inspired me

Never be afraid to fail. Be afraid of not learning from mistakes.

Brett Wilson

Billionaire entrepreneur and ex-CBC Dragon

Surround yourself with people who want the best for you.

Oprah Winfrey

Businesswoman, TV Mogul

People in Haiti are creative. Haiti inspires me. Everyone should make a trip …

Donna Karen

Fashion Designer

My goal wasn’t to make a ton of money. It was to build good computers.

Steve Wozniak

Co-founder of Apple

Awards & Community Involvement

On top of working on the direct activities of the Foundation, Fabienne Colas also sits on a number of boards, attends festivals and events as a speaker or guest of honour, supports many initiatives, and contributes to many fundraising campaigns for various social, humanitarian, community and cultural causes.

Learn more

The Fabienne Colas Foundation

Réal Barnabé, Emile Castonguay and I decided to create the Fabienne Colas Foundation, in order to give a voice and a platform to artists who otherwise, would not have been seen or heard. Since then, the FCF has showcased about 2,000 artists, and every year tens of thousands of people take part in its festivals and initiatives. With your help, the FCF wants to continue to build bridges through the arts!

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