PORT-AU-PRINCE, HAITI – March 28, 2016
Father Joseph Documentary
From feature documentaries to short films, Floating World Pictures produces stories that move, challenge, entertain, and inspire. Jeff Kaufman has produced and directed a number of documentaries for Amnesty International. He has also produced, written, and/or directed programs for The Discovery Channel (including a special on the World Trade Center recovery effort), MTV, The History Channel, and The Learning Channel, and worked on other human rights projects. He is doing a feature documentary on the life and work of Haitian Spiritan priest Father Joseph Philippe, an economic visionary who has lifted the lives of thousands of people. FATHER JOSEPH is a feature documentary on Haiti’s unique history, challenges and potential. (View a trailer on the documentary FATHER JOSEPH at www.floatingworldpictures.com.)
“I try to empower the poor, the young people, women, and peasants. We want to help everyone recognize that they have a lot of gifts, even though they are poor, to give to the community by working together as a body. We can grow together as human beings, and complete each other, and learn from each other. We can become bridge-builders and peacemakers, for ourselves, for others and for the world.” – Father Joseph Philippe
Haiti is a country often plagued by the cruelties of politics, commerce, and nature, but it has also produced some rare individuals, disinterested in self-promotion or personal gain, who have – against incredible odds – found ways to better the lives of those in need. Father Joseph Philippe is one such man, or more accurately, he is five or six social activists in one. Through a vivid profile of Father Joseph’s remarkable life and work the feature documentary FATHER JOSEPH will represent an intimate view of Haiti’s turbulent history, and an unusually immersive community portrait. Named “2010 Social Entrepreneur for Latin America” by the Schwab Foundation, Father Joseph was born to poor mountain farmers and was the first in his family to get a college degree.
He became an accountant and a Spiritan priest, established the Bank of Fonkoze – Haiti’s first micro-credit bank for the poor (with small business loans and training for tens of thousands of women), started the Association of Peasants of Fondwa, co-founded a 700-student K-12 school, an orphanage, a clean water project, a reforestration program, a health clinic, a radio station, built dozens of homes, and founded the University of Fondwa, Haiti’s first rural college. Along the way, he has experienced shocking violence, remarkable courage, and equal amounts of tragedy and inspiration. Almost all of Father Joseph’s 25 years of work was destroyed by the 2010 earthquake that devastated Haiti, but he is rebuilding on several levels.
FATHER JOSEPH, and the outreach campaign this film launches, will bring alive an inspiring personal story with epic scope, and connect a diverse audience to themes of economic and educational opportunity, social justice, environmental protection, healthcare, history, the power of faith, and public service – issues that should speak to people everywhere.