The Sundance Film Festival is just around the corner and already the Salt Lake Film Center is gearing up for January’s festivities. On Dec.14 in the Salt Lake City Library’s main auditorium, the Salt Lake Film Center will be screening a film from last year’s Sundance entitled A Small Act.
A Small Act is a documentary film about a Kenyan man, Chris Mburu, and how his life is drastically changed when a Swedish school teacher, Hilde Back, sponsors his education.
The donation was small and Back didn’t know Mburu personally, but the $15 she sent each month helped him pay for secondary school, which allowed him to move on to the University of Nairobi. He then went to Harvard Law School and is now currently a member of the United Nations.
Mburu, inspired by Back’s small act of kindness, decided to create his own foundation in Hilde Back’s name to help young people in Kenya pay for their education.
The Hilde Back Foundation is a scholarship fund for poor village children in Kenya. While the film tells the story of Mburu and Back, it also follows the lives of three children from the same village Mburu grew up in who hope to receive a scholarship from the foundation.
The three children, Kimani, Ruth and Caroline, have their entire lives and all of their families dreams riding on one test — talk about pressure. In Kenya the KCPE is the test that determines if a child is eligible to attend secondary school and determines if a student is eligible to receive a scholarship.
A Small Act was nominated for the Grand Jury Prize in the 2010 Sundance Film Festival and will be screened on Dec. 14 at the Salt Lake City Library in the main Auditorium at 7 p.m. It’s completely free to attend and will most likely fill up quickly.
The Hilde Back Foundation only has enough money to fund 10 Kenyan students in furthering their education. More information on the foundation and how to donate can be found at hildebackeducationfund.com.