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The Nobelity Blog is a running series of reports on the film and education work of The Nobelity Project (www.nobelity.org), including reports from our partner project Mahiga Hope High School in Kenya, and numerous other school projects from our Kenya Schools Fund. The blog also includes reports on our films, including the recent SXSW Audience Award winner, Building Hope, and on our advocacy for specific issues related to a more sustainable and just world for children everywhere.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Building Hope - Audience Award Winner at SXSW Film Fest


It's been a wild year for Mahiga Hope High School and The Nobelity Project. One year after we broke ground and began construction on the classroom building and the Rainwater Court, the school is open with 135 high schoolers enrolled in grades 9, 10 and 11. That number goes up every month, and we are well on our way to capacity of 350 students.

While we were working with the community to build the school, I've been shooting the Nobelity Project's third feature documentary, Building Hope. We had a World Premiere at the 2011 SXSW Film Festival - and Building Hope won the prestigious Lone Star Audience Award, and had very emotional response from a big crowd at the recent Paramount Theatre Premiere in Austin.

While we're talking to distributors, Building Hope will continue to play select film festivals. Our goal is to launch a much louder global conversation on the need for universal secondary education in Africa and elsewhere. We've also launched our new Kenya Schools Fund, building classrooms, libraries, computer labs and water systems at rural schools across Kenya. Work on these projects is already underway, so stay tuned for details on specific projects.

Here's what the critics are saying:

‘Building Hope is an inspiring documentary that not only builds hope for the youth of Kenya, but also empowers people thousands of miles away to affect change through small yet significant contributions.’ - Slackerwood.com

Turk Pipkin traces the building of the Mahiga Hope High in Kenya with the moving Building Hope. The movie concludes with a rousing grand opening of the school.’ - Austin American Statesman

‘Inspirational Red Bull for the humanitarian soul and proof positive that you – yes, you – can help fix our broken world and make a difference in the lives of countless others.’ - The Austin Chronicle

Thanks all! To receive (occasional) updates on the film and Mahiga Hope HIgh School, send an email to: info@nobelity.org

About Me

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People know me from different things I've done, and often seem to remember me from whatever I was doing when our paths first crossed. If you first saw me on television with Harry Anderson or doing stand-up comedy, you may be disappointed in my current level of funny. On the other hand, if you first saw me as that idiot narcoleptic guy in The Sopranos, I could really use a nap, so I'm still playing that part well. The last few years have been occupied by making three feature docs, Nobelity, One Peace at a Time, and Building Hope. All three were produced by our education and action nonprofit, The Nobelity Project (www.nobelity.org). I've also written ten books of fiction and nonfiction, most recently the NY Times bestseller, The Tao of Willie, co-authored with the very awesome Willie Nelson.