Actor-filmmaker-author Turk Pipkin has led a pretty sweet life. The Austinite has had roles in feature films such as Friday Night Lights and TV shows such as The Sopranos. His buddies include Willie Nelson; the two recently collaborated on the book The Tao of Willie. But recently the media man realized he was unfulfilled and that he wanted to give to others -- specifically, the world's children. So Pipkin contacted nine Nobel Prize winners, and eventually met them in their home countries and documented the problems facing children there.
The result is Pipkin's call-to-action documentary Nobelity, which screens today. The film follows Pipkin as he treks across the United States, France, England, India and Africa, speaking to Nobel winners such as Jody Williams. The founder of the International Campaign to Ban Landmines tells him that in order to make a difference, "You have to get off your ass and take action." Pipkin visits poverty-stricken Calcutta with Indian economist Amartya Sen, where he finds street children who are cheery, upbeat and friendly, despite having nothing.
The Nobel Laureates in Nobelitydon't pull any punches; Sen notes that on 9/11, "more people died of AIDS than died by violence." And the frankness by the Nobel winners helps the film achieve an effect that a dozen "Save the Children" ads can't. (As an added cool factor, Willie Nelson voices the trailer.) Pipkin will be on hand today to discuss his Nobel effort at a reception at 7 p.m. Screening starts at 7:30 p.m., followed by Q&A with Pipkin.
Thu., June 29, 7 p.m.