The documentary ran parallel to the relief efforts
By Valerie Milano
Hollywood, CA (Hollywood Today) 1/4/2013 – “It was during that time that we found out about Josue’s dream to bring clean water to his village; before we knew it, we had this sort of movement that was developing.” – Patrick Shen, Director of La Source speaking with Hollywood Today about his impetus for creating the critically acclaimed documentary. After directing the award winning film, Philosopher Kings, Shen was bombarded by an outpour of interest in helping one of the films key subjects, Josue LaJuenesse, assist the Haitian community where he grew up in developing a clean water system. Through sharing the stories of eight custodians who work in some of America’s most prestigious colleges and universities, a universal philosophy was somehow imparted; there is wisdom that comes only with the experiences of human existence, especially those that create triumph out of tragedy. LaJuenesse’s story in particular seemed to strike that chord within humanity, and soon thereafter, the wheels were in motion to get a clean water project under way in the town of La Source, Haiti.
An altruist, as well as director, Patrick Shen took the requests to aid LaJuenesse’s community to heart, partnering with the nonprofit organization Generosity Water to make the dream a reality. Ultimately, the film La Source was born out of Shen and his teams desire to document the work they were doing alongside LaJuenesse in his homeland. “We weren’t planning to make a movie.” Says Shen. Arriving in Haiti just two months after the devastating earthquake in 2010, they saw first hand the havoc wreaked by the 7.0 magnitude shake up in an already suffering nation. Ironically, the town of La Source being rural and underdeveloped was less hard hit by the natural disaster. The fact still remained, however, that clean water was a dire necessity to sustain their daily living.
Three years later and after a great deal of hard work, the town of La Source not only has clean water, but there are now plans to fulfill the villages second dream of building a community school, as well as, expand the clean water project to 20 more villages throughout rural Haiti. Shen says, “We’ve launched this campaign alongside the film to bring awareness about the global water crisis; Part of the action campaign is promoting our efforts to build a school for the children who don’t have any place to attend; we’ve gotten a lot of celebrity support!” Since making the documentary ran parallel to the relief efforts, gathering support and funding has been a labor of love, but one that Shen welcomes. He was able to employ actor Don Cheadle (Hotel Rwanda) as the films narrator and has relied on a combination of grants, crowd funding and outside investors for overall financing. Set for official release this spring, Shen is looking forward to the film’s success on the festival circuit but is already gearing up for his newest documentary on the value of silence, tentatively titled In Pursuit of Silence.
In a society that has become bombarded with movies that feature one too many explosions, chase sequences and gratuitous sex scenes, it is refreshing to find a new young talent who is willing to take it to the streets and share the realities of our world straight from La Source.