In Cannes from May 18th to 25th

Directed by

Maïlis & Aïsha C. Vertus


Directed by

Maïlis & Aïsha C. Vertus




Canada - (Québec)


English, Haitian Creole, Portuguese


Drama, Biography | Documentary


21 minutes

Production: Station Service


Mascarade Origin Story unfolds the chapters of Aïsha's life. From her upbringing as a young Haitian girl in Montreal-Nord to her journeys in Brazil, the film reveals her encounters with her chosen family and the discovery of her identity as a woman and musician. A new sense of belonging emerges from these experiences, nurturing her inspiration. Aware of the wounds she carries, Aïsha embarks on a learning process aimed at transforming her traumas into objects of healing.

Thus, it delves into the depths of her journey, shedding light on personal transformation and resilience in the face of life's challenges.

Technical crew


Why we love it

About the director

Maïlis, a French and Canadian director based in Montreal, fearlessly explores the delicate interplay between strength and vulnerability, infusing her work with an emotionally charged perspective. Her subversive projects, infused with a strong feminist lens, ignite meaningful dialogues and captivate audiences while showcasing her unique creative voice.

She firmly believes in her role as an image-maker, embracing the responsibility of crafting narratives that contribute positively to the world by using her artistic platform to amplify underrepresented voices.

Intention Note


This film was born out of a passionate collaboration, but above all, from a desire for feminine emancipation, an overflowing that demands expression. It's a tale of strength, resilience, and solidarity. It represents a cry for freedom, a creative impulse fueled by a profound need to share authentic and powerful narratives that transcend borders and inspire discussion. By uniting our voices, this project becomes a collective act of liberation, a means to celebrate the diversity of women's experiences and challenge preconceived norms.

May this film resonate with each and every one of you and spark meaningful conversations about emancipation, equity, and the collective strength of women. May the images and emotions captured on screen provoke deep reflection and nurture the shared desire to evolve in a world where every woman feels free to flourish, express herself, and fully occupy her space as she sees fit.

- Maïlis

Creative Director's Note

A glimpse into my previous trips to Brazil and my childhood in Montréal- Nord. This film is a devotion, a spell, a body of work made with care by women from various ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds with the same spiritual intent: emancipation. Through making this piece, I've encountered new friends and family members and spirits guided our way.

Mascarade was first the soundtrack of a moment of my life. It's how I saw the world, as a big parade where we were all wandering, celebrating, numbing ourselves with various distractions, and being the loudest.

This is a spiritual testimony that your rebirth can start with fire and will transform into water. It's a letter to myself and to all women who were told their dreams were too big.

- Aïsha

Why we love it