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A Choice of Heart

Chicago filmmaker experiences life in Haiti while documenting philanthropist's project

March 13, 2014 | By Mike Thomas, Chicago Sun-Times

What am I doing here and why don’t I leave?


To read the full article, click here.

CA+S alum Jack C. Newell (BA '04) is set to finish his feature length documentary, How To Build A School in Haiti.

How To Build A School In Haiti tells the story of an American named Tim Myers who is trying to help build a school in Villard, a rural Haitian town whose local economy was devastated after the earthquake in January 2010.  The school in question had been aborted due to lack of funding and organization, so Myers, a semi-retired construction manager, took it upon himself to help out.

Newell says he wants to make a film that sheds light on "all of the complexities that go into international aid projects and the nuance behind it all; to try and tell a more detailed picture about what goes into this kind of aid work."

Jonathan M. Katz, author of Left Behind a Disaster and member of the film's advisory board, says, "in the debates over international aid and ending global poverty, the real underlying issues on the ground are often ignored. Working in an impoverished country such as Haiti is hard, and most of all for the people who actually live there. By building a real understanding of the challenges and the stakes, this film can play an important role in fostering real change."

Newell has successfully funded the project through its Kickstarter campaign.

Filming will continue into 2015.  Check out a 15 minute preview of How To Build A School In Haiti.