He has written and produced six movies so far and the latest one, ‘Until the Last Breath,’ will play at Boynton Beach High School on Sunday, March 17. His name is Mora Junior Etienne and he is Haitian.
Mr. Etienne, 48, is a trained actor, writer and producer who lives in West Palm Beach. He moved to Palm Beach County (PBC) from Anse-a-Veau in the Nippes of Haiti in 2004 and, in that time, has done three movies; In Haiti, he’d also done three.
He will appear on X102.3 FM’s ‘South Florida Sunday’ community news radio show at 6:30 a.m. on this Sunday, where he’ll talk about his career, his focus and what he wants to accomplish. The name of his production company: Mojueti Entertainment.
Mr. Etienne is making history. He is young, hardworking and focused on the larger picture. That image: us.
“These movies are our stories, they are about our lives, our culture, what we’re doing, what we’re thinking,” Mr. Etienne said. “But it’s Palm Beach they will see. I’m not just making movies to promote me and my community, I’m promoting our home, Palm Beach. That’s what they call me: ‘Mora Palm Beach.'”
He has been an actor and theatre performer since age 15 and won a leading role in the Haitian movie ‘Affair Interne’ in 1995. That experience led to his interest in being behind the camera too. He started doing his own productions in 1998 and the list has grown ever since.
His six movies:
- ‘Au Coeu Du Danger’ (‘In the Heart of the Danger,’ 1998), his directorial debut in Haiti;
- Le Choi De Ma Vie (‘The Choice of My Life,’ 2001);
- “Profonds Regret (‘Deep Regrets,’ 2005), in which he stars with actress Fabienne Colas, who won Best Actress in 2003 from Ticket magazine in Haiti. It was his first film in the U.S.;
- ‘Choc Terrible’ (‘Terrible Shock,’ 2007), which featured Haitian-Canadian Actress Tetchena Ellange, who also performed with Dennis Quaid in ‘The Day After Tomorrow’ in 2004. It also featured Tiffany Richardson, an African-American performer who was also a finalist in ‘America’s Next Top Model’;
- ‘Le Prix A Payer’ (‘The Price to Pay,’ 2010), which was about domestic violence and had the support and involvement of the West Palm Beach Police Department. It won the ‘Peoples Choice Award’ from the Motion Picture Association of Haiti (MPAH) in 2011; and
- ‘Until the Last Breath,’ in 2018.
His movies are in Creole with English subtitles and are a mix of drama and comedy. That’s because, he says, “it’s good therapy when people laugh and think and feel,” he said. “I want to see kids loving their parents, more husbands and wives loving each other, I want to see us not work against each other. I just want to see people laugh and love each other. I want to bring hope, change lives, impact people positively.”
‘Until the Last Breath’ had a black-tie premiere in Boca Raton in December 2018, then went to Port-au-Prince for a second opening later that month, which attracted more than 800 people. It also played locally, at Assemblee De Dieu, a church in Greenacres.
“I love what I am doing,” Mr. Etienne said. “It’s not easy, it costs money, but I have to go through all this to get to where I want to be. I want to tell our stories.”