(Laval) In addition to promoting diversity on the small screen, the Lakay Nou series promotes diversity behind the camera. This is what La Presse found when visiting the film set of the show.

Directed by Ricardo Trogi and starring Frédéric Pierre and Catherine Souffrant, the series chronicles the challenges of a Haitian family settled in Quebec.

Main actor, co-writer and producer of the series, Frédéric Pierre, who plays the role of Henri, is proud of the pairing program that takes place on the set. This program, which aims to train and professionalize people from visible minorities in different positions (production, artistic direction, etc.), was designed through the actor’s production company, aptly named Twinning.

Frédéric Pierre says he participated in many shoots, but never saw “more than four” black artists on a set. “Through my company, the idea was to create positions to mentor [those new to the industry]. »

Anderson Jean is one of the beneficiaries of the buddy program. The young trainee from observation to the realization on the set learns the rudiments of the trade by rubbing shoulders with Ricardo Trogi. In an interview, he talks about the real glass ceiling that remains to be broken. Seeing more and more black artists in the medium inspired him to pursue his dream of breaking into the television industry, with his projects as a director and screenwriter.

“I’ve been seeing it more and more over the past few years,” says Anderson Jean. I’ve scripted other projects before, and I’m seeing more and more emerging directors and screenwriters. There are several steps being taken in that direction, and this therefore brings more diversity players into the industry. »

Anderson Jean, who has worked on several music videos so far, is also blessed to do an internship with renowned artists such as Frédéric Pierre and Ricardo Trogi. “Comedy appeals to me a lot,” he says. “I wanted to be part of something more official, so a project like this is a great opportunity to see the full process of producing a series. »

Frédéric Pierre, who now has a career of more than 30 years, admits having worked hard to promote the Quebec television industry within the black community. He wanted to push the note even further, especially behind the camera. “On screen, I felt it was happening, but I was faced with the realization that the next step, [is] directing, scriptwriting, production. There are still plenty of departments on set that I’m like, ‘It would be fun to train people there.’ »

According to André Béraud, director of drama programs at Radio-Canada, when they enter the community, young artisans face many obstacles, including overcoming the prejudices surrounding their profession. He wants to help break the stereotype of the “real job” that young people want to find, when they arrive in Canada, by adding value around the Quebec television industry.

Upon arriving in the country, many parents cherish certain expectations towards the profession that their children will choose, and it can therefore be difficult to convince those who are starting out to take the leap into this profession. “We often say we want our kids to be happy, but when they tell us they want to be garbage collectors, that’s where parents want to have a discussion,” says André Béraud.

The story of Lakay Nou echoes the words of André Béraud. The characters feel the pressure to meet their parents’ expectations in different areas of their lives. For the director of drama programs, it was important to integrate certain elements of the reality of the Afro-descendant community into the script.

The actress Catherine Souffrant, who plays Myrlande, Henri’s spouse, hopes that the series will reach the widest possible audience. This is an opportunity for her to illustrate the reality of newcomers to Canada. “I want to prove the point that it is possible to identify with actors who are not from your community. There is something particularly jubilant about this experience,” she says.