Building Hope -- A Story of How Little it Takes to Make a Big Difference

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SXSW Film Festival announces the World Premiere of Building Hope, The Nobelity Project's new documentary about building Mahiga Hope High School in Kenya.

Filmmaker Turk Pipkin's promise to help build the first high school for a remote African community is a true story of Building Hope, the title of his latest film which debuts at the SXSW film festival on Friday, March 12 at the Rollins Theater with a repeat viewing on March 17 at the Arbor Cinema.

After rebuilding a rural Kenyan primary school, Turk Pipkin and The Nobelity Project agreed to help build the area's first high school. Through drought, flood, and fundraising challenges, Building Hope chronicles the construction of Mahiga Hope High and the connection between a thousand people in the U.S. and an African community working to create a better future for their children.

Seeking to build a model school for rural Africa, Mahiga Hope High includes the award-winning RainWater Court, winner of the international design competition The Nike GameChangers Award, an 8-classroom building, fully equipped science and computer labs, a library and a new kitchen and dining room. The school is now open and part of the Kieni West Education District with a capacity for 350 students.

"We had two important goals," says Turk Pipkin. "To help create real opportunity for this great Kenyan community, and to highlight the need for an increased focus on secondary education in the Africa."

In Kenya and many other countries in Africa and around the world, there is a significant gap between the number of kids completing primary school and the available spaces in secondary schools. There are also gaps in the number of qualified teachers, the ability of parents to afford high school tuition and in the physical distance between schools.

"This is about more than just building one school; the challenges faced by the Mahiga Hope School are the same challenges faced by schools all over the world," said Pipkin. "And the solutions we found can be applied to any school anywhere."

Building Hope is an inspiring story of those who believe education shouldn't end at the 8th grade. The film includes appearances by Willie Nelson, Desmond Tutu, Nobel Peace Prize winner Wangari Maathai, Cameron Sinclair of Architecture for Humanity, and Auma Obama.

Building Hope Press Reception:

Friday, March 11, 5:00 - 6:30 Ruth's Chris Steakhouse

Cocktails and appetizers with Turk and Christy Pipkin

RSVP required: Christy(at)nobelity(dot)org


Saturday, March 12 2:00 p.m. Rollins Theatre, at the Long Center, 701 W. Riverside Dr.
Thursday, March 17 6:00 p.m. Arbor Cinema, 9828 Great Hills Trail.

Turk Pipkin and The Nobelity Project

Building Hope is produced by the Nobelity Project, a 501c3 nonprofit working for a more peaceful and sustainable world. The Nobelity Project collaborates with Nobel laureates and other inspiring leaders to provide reliable information and innovative thinking on pressing global problems and solutions that work.

This is the second world premiere at SXSW Film Festival for filmmaker Turk Pipkin. In 2006, his first film Nobelity played to a sold out crowd at Austin's Paramount Theater. Esquire Magazine called Nobelity, "Nine Ways to Save the World."

Turk's second film, One Peace at a Time (2009), won the Global Doc Audience Award at the Maui Film Festival. It also screened at the World Economic Forum in Geneva, and was an official selection at numerous American and global film festivals. Both Nobelity and One Peace at a Time are available on DVD from Monterey Media.

Nobelity looks at the world's problems through the eyes of nine Nobel laureates, including Desmond Tutu, Jody Williams, Sir Joseph Rotblat and others. One Peace at a Time focuses on the possibility of providing basic rights to every child. The film includes the insights of Nobel Peace laureate Muhammad Yunus, Nobel Physicist Steven Chu, Dr. Helene Gayle and others.

For more information:

Contact: Christy Pipkin christy(at)nobelity(dot)org

View the trailer for Building Hope at:


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