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If you build it by SIFF

Join SIFF for If You Build It, an inspiring film documenting Project H's work with students in rural North Carolina.


Designer-activists Emily Pilloton and Matthew Miller run this compelling program in rural Bertie county, the poorest in North Carolina. They lead their students through a full-scale design program that does much more than just teach basic construction skills: it shows thirteen teenagers the power of design-thinking to re-invent not just their town but their own sense of what's possible. From Patrick Creadon, the director of Wordplay and I.O.U.S.A., comes this vision of a new kind of classroom in which students learn the tools to design their own futures.

"Celebrates the flinty spirit that spurs problem solving and creativity (sometimes at the same time) with people not dedicated to a cause, but to people. It's an important distinction, but one that shines through this warm documentary, reminding us of the wonders that can be accomplished simply by rolling up your sleeves and getting to work." - Kevin Jagernauth, Indiewire

"Not only a stirring look at education's potential to rally and invigorate but also a vital snapshot of contemporary rural America." - Gary Goldstein, Los Angeles Times

"A bracing, quietly exhilarating documentary...Gracefully threads viewers through a story that commences with bright-eyed optimism, then inevitably runs afoul of entrenched local bureaucracies. But it's impossible to leave If You Build It feeling depressed, largely because of the young people themselves." - Ann Hornaday, Washington Post

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