Discover Haiti's Entrepreneurs & Businesses:
Claudine Oriol: Director, Actress, Philanthropist
Haitian-American actress, director and global philanthropist, Claudine Oriol, grew-up in a tri-lingual home in Brooklyn, NY. She attributes much of her affinity for culture and multicultural awareness to her childhood upbringing, where she was surrounded by a mosaic of cultures, races and ethnicities. As such, she speaks five languages, and used music as a tool to teach herself Spanish and Italian in order to converse with her friend’s parents as a child.
Claudine was passionate about cultivating her gift of performance, despite studying electrical engineering in college. However, her path to the entertainment industry was not direct. Claudine is driven by a deep-rooted spirituality, which led her to live at a Tibetan monastery in Nepal for a period of time. This experience had a profound impact on her. She draws upon this and other significant occurrences when preparing for a role.
Her film experience includes: a role in the critically acclaimed, independent Haitian film Pluie d’Espoir (Rain of Hope); As Good As Dead, starring British actor, Cary Elwes; My Girlfriend’s Back, starring CCH Pounder and Malik Yoba; Blonde Ambition, in which she played the role of Penny Marshall’s lawyer; and Norah’s Hair Salon II, starring Mekhi Phifer and Tatyana Ali.
In addition to acting, her involvement in the entertainment industry led to numerous unique opportunities. For example, in 2007, she co-hosted the red carpet for the GRAMMY Awards with world-renowned recording artist and humanitarian, Wyclef Jean. She has also interviewed a variety of notable personalities such as Jay Leno, Dr. Maya Angelou and Haitian President Rene Preval, to name a few. From 2009 to 2011, she was appointed Vice-President of the Beverly Hills Film Festival.
Following the tragic earthquake in Haiti in 2010, Claudine was moved to write and direct her first-ever film, the documentary, Resilient Hearts. Claudine, who had departed Port au Prince for New York City just one hour before the earthquake struck, spent the next three years interviewing survivors, hearing their stories, surveying the destruction and witnessing the strength, unity and opportunity for her fellow Haitians to grow and rebuild as a country. In January 2014, Resilient Hearts’ debut screening took place at the United Nations among world leaders, entertainers and professional athletes. The documentary, which is in post-production, is currently being submitted to a variety of film festivals around the world prior to its release.
Both personally and professionally, Claudine strives to make a lasting impact in the lives of others. In 2010, as a response to the aftermath of the earthquake, Claudine’s Lespri Foundation partnered with Usher's World Leadership Award to present a medical clinic to Mayor Jeudi of Delmas, which is the biggest district in Port-au-Prince. Her philanthropic endeavors in Haiti have also included work with young kids at the Delmas Juvenile Jail and she has discussed building a learning center in the Municipality of Delmas to benefit residents throughout the capital. In April 2009, she co-hosted a luncheon for US Doctors for Africa (USDFA) with Pras Michel, award-winning music artist and former member of The Fugees. In addition, Claudine was recently nominated as the Entertainment Relations Representative for the UN Millennium Development Goals with The Jack Brewer Foundation. Her humanitarianism and desire to help those in need continues to be at the forefront of her daily life.
Film website: www.resilientheartsthemovie.com
Press Contact: Please call (813) 966-4314 or e-mail:
Discover Haiti’s Entrepreneurs and Businesses, a feature developed by the Embassy of Haiti, introduces readers to the many talents that Haiti offers. The Embassy will regularly highlight Haiti’s entrepreneurs and businesses. Inclusion in this feature does not imply an endorsement of the person, business or service. If you would like to nominate a Haitian entrepreneur for this feature, please submit their name and bio along with your contact information using the comment section of our website feedback form. Thank you for your continued support.