Via Zoom: Jack C. Newell on ‘How (Not) to Build a School in Haiti’

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CHICAGO – Putting together a documentary, especially as it involves a step-by-step process, can take a bit of time. Filmmaker Jack C. Newell has spent 10 years putting together “How (Not) to Build a School in Haiti.” The Premiere of the film is Friday, September 16th at Chicago’s Gene Siskel Film Center. Click HAITI for info and tickets.

After hearing an NPR podcast in the wake of the 2010 Haiti earthquake, semi-retired construction worker Tim Myers is so moved he decides to build a school in the rural Hatian community of Villard. He meets his counterpart Anselm Saimplice, who readily accepts Tim’s vision for a new school. Very quickly, things spiral out of control. Trying to teach Haitian laborers new skills, Tim imposes his style of construction and values, which he finds clashes with the way things are done in Haiti.

How (Not) to Build a School in Haiti
Photo credit: ZAXIE

Jack C. Newell is a prolific movie director, who also created The Second City Film School. His feature film credits including “Close Quarters” (2012), Open Tables (2015), “Hope Springs Eternal” (2018), the documentary “42 Grams” (2018), Monuments (2020) and “Christmas with Felicity” (2021). Newell will attend all three screenings and will participate in audience Q&A.

In PART ONE of a interview via Zoom with Jack C. Newell of “How (Not0 to Build a School in Haiti” by Patrick McDonald of, the mystery of the long production is explained …

In PART TWO, of Saul/Paul, “villains” and religion…

In PART THREE, the filmmaker lessons from the documentary…

Trailer for “How (Not) to Build a School in Haiti”…

The Premiere of “How (Not) to Build a School in Haiti” will be Friday, September 16th, 2022, at the Gene Siskel Film Center, 164 North State Street, Chicago. senior staff writer Patrick McDonald

Editor and Film Critic/Writer

© 2022 Patrick McDonald,

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