The short documentary film Junior directed by A.J. Wilhelm will play at the 2021 Maine International Film Festival. Featuring Jérôme “Junior” Simeon along with Ajayi Jackson, the film follows the acclaimed Haitian musician as he struggles to keep the beat of his passion alive.
Gifted as a teenager Jérôme “Junior” Simeon was recruited by top Haitian roots music group “Racine Mapou de Azor” and spent 20 years touring the world. When the lead singer of his band dies unexpectedly Junior’s high-profile career comes to a shocking halt and he suddenly faces an uncertain future for himself and his legacy.
Director AJ Wilhelm first met Simeon in 2016 while working on a different project in Port-au-Prince. Following an invitation from a friend to accompany him to an appointment with a local drum legend, the stars aligned and “Junior” (the film) was born. With “Junior” Wilhelm’s goal is to highlight and explore Haitian stories that are much more personal, relatable, and hopeful than those often depicted within the mainstream narrative.
Wilhelm is a New York City based freelance photographer and filmmaker whose work has been published by National Geographic, Smithsonian, NPR, The New Yorker, New York Magazine, GQ, The FADER, among many others. Born and raised in the midwest, AJ is a graduate of the University of Michigan.
Watch the trailer for Junior.