Student Academy Award Winner


About The Film

LALO’S HOUSE focuses on the relentless courage of Manouchka, an 14 year-old Haitian girl, kidnapped with her little sister Phara, for an unfortunately common reason in Haiti: the two girls happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong time.

Placed in an orphanage, Manouchka quickly discovers that this orphanage really serves as a child prostitution network.

Out of options, Manouchka has to grow up prematurely if she wants to protect Phara’s innocence. In the darkness of a place that pretends to be the exact opposite of what it really is, childhood and playfulness are giving battle to the cynical horror of the adult world, until Manouchka eventually sacrifices herself in order to save her little sister.

LALO’S HOUSE is a story about sisterhood and the infinite resourcefulness of the human heart. It is a story that reflects the identity and paradoxes of Haiti nowadays, as it plays at the border between documentary and fable, terror and innocence, between the relentless destruction and the unsinkable hope.

Director’s Statement

Today there are still people in the world being forced to work against their will. This is a recurring problem rooted in human history and it needs to stop. I have been working on the subject of child trafficking ever since I witnessed and investigated an orphanage posing as a benevolent religious organization 8 years ago, it has been put on my heart to tell this story.

Child trafficking is a debasement of our common humanity and it should concern every community because it tears at our social fabric. If you work in the business sector, child trafficking should concern you because it distorts markets. If you work in sustainability, child trafficking should concern you because it endangers public health and it fuels violence and organized crime. It concerns me as a filmmaker and so I wanted to use my art to help shed more light on the issue and this is why Lalo’s House was created.

– Kelley Kalí

The Context

Haiti is one of the lowest countries in the world in terms of convictions per acts of sexual exploitation. In Haiti recurrent socio-economic, climatic and political shocks, as well as structural poverty worsen an environment where children’s rights to be safe from violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation are challenged. This is largely a result of the “restavek” epidemic in which impoverished families who can’t afford to support their kids often send them to live with and work for another family. These “restaveks” are typically either bought and sold to work or are sent to orphanages so the traffickers can benefit the international adoption trade. 25 percent of Haitian children are separated from their biological parents and live either in informal foster care or with persons they have no family ties to or in institutions (UNICEF). Regarding children placed in institutions, the care system in Haiti is predominantly based on a residential-care model with more than 750 privately-run and unregulated institutions hosting an estimated 30,000 children of which 80 percent are not orphans (UNICEF).

Over 200,000 children are domestic workers working in unacceptable forms of child labor in Haiti. The global slavery index ranked Haiti number two in the world in prevalence of modern slavery by population.. In June 2016, the U.S. State Department trafficking in persons report downgraded Haiti to its lowest watchlist category. A third of young women and a fourth of young men aged 13-24 experienced multiple types of violence prior to turning 18 (Violence Against Children).

Meet The Crew

Kelley Kali


Garcelle Beauvais

Executive Producer

Lisa Wilson

Executive Producer

Yasemin Yilmaz


Victor Pourcel


Ian McClellan

Line Producer/UPM

Star Victoria

First AD

Megan Carroll

Second AD

Xing-Mai Deng

Director of Photography

Colleen O'Halloran

Production Design Consultant

Jeremy Deneau

DIT/ Editor

Derek Sepe

Sound Design

Ramesh Kumar Kannan


Sade Joseph

Associate Producer

Madison Stevens

Associate Producer

Sam Schmiedeskamp

Website/Set Photographer

Azmera Hammouri-Davis


Lorraine Estime


Meet The Cast

Garcelle Beauvais

Sister Francine

Jimmy Jean-Louis

Jean (the father)

Paul Beaubrun


Kyra Rosalynd Lesperance


Jasmin Jean-Louis


Kelly Kali

Director/Co-Writer/ Producer

Kelley Kali, a Los Angeles native and Howard University Alum, received her MFA from the University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts. She began her film journey with an internship at National Geographic Television and Film, which sparked her interests in using the art of film to spotlight social issues within her local community and the world at large. She has since produced and directed award-winning films in Belize, Haiti, China, and locally in the USA. Kelley was selected to work with Ron Howard and Brian Grazer’s New Form Digital, to develop her web series, The Discovery of Dit Dodson which has screened in competition at the Atlanta Film Festival, the American Black Film Festival and the Pan African Film Festival among many others. Kelley’s most recent film, Lalo’s House, is inspired by 8 years of research and investigation of a woman who was allegedly posing as a nun and prostituting/selling children for financial gains at a Catholic orphanage in Haiti. Lalo’s House is executive produced by Garcelle Beauvais and Lisa L. Wilson and was filmed on location in Haiti and Los Angeles. It won the Programmers’ Award at the 2018 Pan African Film Festival, Best Short Film prizes at the CineOdyssey Film Festival and the Black Harvest Film Festival, Best Director at the African World Film Festival, featured at the American Black Film Festival in the Emerging Directors category, an official selection of the Telluride Film Festival and has recently won a Student Academy Award at the 45th Student Academy Awards. Kelley’s goal is to be known as a director and content creator who addresses issues within often marginalized communities by using the art of filmmaking to create dialogue and action towards positive change.


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Creative Artists Agency (CAA)
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