Jennifer Arnold’s A Small Act (now at Quad Cinema), which premiered at Sundance 2010, chronicles how one small act can dramatically change the entire course of another person¹s life as it tells how the donation of a then-stranger (Hilda Back) allowed young Chris Mburu stay in school in Kenya. Mburu is now a Harvard Law School graduate who is a human rights officer for the United Nations, and A Small Act follows Mburu¹s efforts to honor his benefactor, give back to his community and continue the cycle of sponsorship. With clarity and grace, the film bears witness to the ripple effect one singular action can have.
At Spotlight on Documentaries 2010, Jen and producer Patti Lee connected with HBO’s Lisa Heller at a Project Forum meeting, and A Small Act rapidly became an HBO Documentary Film. Jen writes about this and her film’s production story this week on Ted Hope’s blog.
Last July, just prior to its HBO broadcast, A Small Act was the opening film for IFP’s ENVISION: Addressing Global Issues through Documentaries, produced jointly with the United Nations Department of Public Information. It’s always great when an IFP-supported film can work cross-programmatically and it was a perfect fit for this program - and it was especially wonderful to have Jen, Patti, and Chris Mburu here for it.
So, in short – seize the opportunity to see both of these docs – A Small Act and The Kids Grow Up now playing in New York, and continuing to play across the country the rest of this year.
And coming up:
Standing in front of the Angelika last night when I arrived was the tireless Thom Powers, handing out brochures for his upcoming inaugural DOC NYC (November 3-9). Check out their schedule – you really can’t go wrong with anything. A special shout out to the exquisitely compelling Puppet by David Soll, an alum project of IFP’s 2010 Independent Filmmaker Labs.