The Nobelity Blog is a running series of reports on the film and education work of The Nobelity Project (, 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.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Building Hope - The Book! With DVD of the Movie

As Building Hope continues to play film festivals and win awards – and as we continue to make fast progress on construction projects at ten Kenya schools – we're very happy to announce what may be our most exciting project yet. Why so exciting? Because of the pace that it's happening, because of an innovative new funding model, and because it gives us the chance to tell the full tale of the Nobelity Project and the amazing journey we've been on.

The story of the high school was much bigger than we could tell in one film. The story of the Nobelity Project is bigger than the three feature

films we've made. So we're very happy to announce the publication of a beautiful new coffee table book that is going tell the full story in words and in pictures.

Building Hope - the Story of Mahiga Hope High School and The Nobelity Project is now available for sale through the innovative fundraising platform, You buy the book in advance and we use the funds to pay for the cost of design and printing. The best part is, with every copy of the book you get an advance dvd of the film, Building Hope.

Please watch our new video pitch for the campaign, then choose which level you want to help us reach our goal. Kickstarter is an all-or-nothing platform. If we don't raise our goal of $25,000, we don't get a dime (and the book project won't happen) so we REALLY need you to step up and buy a book (or many books) for you, your family and your friends.

The book release party is set for Sunday, December 11 at El Sol y La Luna, and we're expecting quite a celebration (Those of you who partied with Dennis Quaid and Marcia Ball at last year's El Sol event know it's a blast!). This book and dvd package is going to be a great holiday gift with meaning, and we're also recommending it to companies who want to buy copies for their clients and employees.

The Kickstarter Project link is also on our website at We've also just launched a fully rebuilt website (way to go Christy!) that has links to our feature films, our shorts, the Kenya Schools Fund and our work in schools. Check it out!

And there are three important dates for your calenders:
Sept 17 to Oct 26 - The campaign to presell Building Hope (the book and dvd)
Sunday, Dec 11 - The Holiday Party/Book Release at El Sol y La Luna
Sunday, March 25, 2012 - The Artists & Filmmakers Dinner at the Four Seasons Austin

Sunday, September 11, 2011

It's 9-11-11, ten years after the attacks on the World Trade Center, and

I’m on the Texas-Mexico border this evening with Joe Klein from Time Magazine and, ironically, the great photographer Lynsey Addario who was tough enough to endure her kidnapping in Libya earlier this year and continues to be one of America’s greatest news photographers. All three of us spent much of the decade since 9-11 filming, shooting photos and writing in a lot of crazy places around the world, and each of our journeys seemed to have been launched by the incredible tragedy of 9-11 and by America’s response to the attack on The World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

Like the rest of America and the world, there’s no going back to who we were before. We can’t undo the falling of the towers or the growing tragedies of the Iraq and Afghan Wars, but we’re still searching for the best way ahead through the stories we tell in words and pictures. Much of the diary below is about Willie Nelson and a voice that continues to fill a need in so many people. Willie’s still out there doing what he does. The rest of us can only follow his example to the best of our abilities. One happy note – the diary mentions our upcoming American Masters film on Willie which later premiered to great acclaim and was rewarded with an Emmy Award for the best non-fiction series. Thanks for all the music, Willie. We still love you; still need you.

So here’s my Slate Diary #3 – in the wake of 9-11.

And stay tuned for some great news about my new book, Building Hope - The Story of Mahiga Hope High School. It's going to be beautiful.

About Me

My photo
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 ( 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.