Special Screening of ‘How (Not) to Build a School in Haiti’ to Celebrate Haitian Heritage Month

In celebration of Haitian Heritage Month in May, Chicago Filmmakers and the Haitian American Museum of Chicago (HAMOC) will co-present Chicago filmmaker Jack C. Newell’s feature documentary HOW (NOT) TO BUILD A SCHOOL IN HAITI on Thursday, May 25 at 7:00 p.m. at Chicago Filmmakers Firehouse Cinema, 1326 W. Hollywood Ave. The director, Jack C. Newell, and producer, Dinesh Das Sabu, will appear in-person for a post-screening Q&A.

Tickets are on sale now at www.chicagofilmmakers.org. Click here to purchase.

When a retired construction worker from America hears an NPR story on the 2010 Haiti earthquake, he is so moved that he decides to build a school in rural Haiti. His journey is chronicled in HOW (NOT) TO BUILD A HOUSE IN HAITI, which highlights the challenges and complexities of international aid work. Through its poignant storytelling, the film explores themes of cultural differences, communication breakdowns, and the unintended consequences of good intentions.

Here is your preview of the documentary…

Presented on the occasion of Haitian Heritage Month, Haitian American Museum of Chicago Director of Programs and Museum Practice Carlos Brossard, shared: “HAMOC will be collaborating on various programs and initiatives during the month of May, including this screening to celebrate the vibrancy of Haiti and its people. There are many special connections between Haiti and Chicago, most importantly Haitian Jean Baptiste Point DuSable, the first non-indigenous founder of the settlement that became the City of Chicago, and his wife Kitihawa, a Potawatomi woman. These individuals helped pave the way for Chicago and Haitian excellence.”

“We are thrilled to partner with the Haitian American Museum of Chicago to spotlight Jack C. Newell’s critical documentary work during Haitian Heritage Month,” said Jackie Robbins, Program Director of Chicago Filmmakers. “We believe that the film’s themes of cultural understanding and the challenges of international aid work are particularly relevant today and can help spark important conversations about how we can best support communities in need.”

Jack C. Newell, the director, emphasized the point of the project: “Our goal is to support humanitarian aid efforts in Haiti and beyond by providing the film as a tool for dialog, self-reflection, and education.”

The documentary, which took ten years for the filmmakers to craft has screened at over a dozen film festivals in the US and abroad including the Haiti Film Festival, Martinique International Film Festival, Montreal Black Film Festival, DOCUTAH, and NFMLA where it is currently nominated for best documentary feature.

For more information about the film screening and to purchase tickets, visit Chicago Filmmakers’ website at www.chicagofilmmakers.org.

To learn more about the Haitian American Museum of Chicago and view all of their Haitian Heritage Month collaboration events, visit www.hamoc.org.

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