Send in the Clowns – UK premiere

Tim in a scene from Send in the Clowns

Send in the Clowns explores the impact of prolonged aid in Haiti as it follows a group of idealistic volunteer performers from Clowns without Borders.

When the clowns arrive in Haiti five months before the earthquake, to embark on a three-week schedule of shows, they experience doubts about their effectiveness as aid givers in a country that has received more aid per capita than anywhere else in the world. When they return to a devastated Haiti in the aftermath of the 2010 earthquake to teach workshops to young adults, they hope to have a more lasting impact than many of the other aid organisations they have seen.

The Haitians instinctively embrace the clown training and appear to be uplifted by the experience. But they also share the personal challenges of their daily lives exposing the failure of most aid organisations to deliver lasting solutions and empower the citizens of Haiti.

In contrasting the work of the clowns with other forms of aid, the film asks whether Haiti’s crippling and conflicted relationship with aid organisations is actually more absurd than sending in the clowns.

Sam Lee’s feature documentary premiered in 2015 at the Socially Relevant Film Festival in NYC. It was screened in Brussels by United Nations Cine-ONU in June.

The film will be followed by a Q&A with the film’s producer/director and guest speakers:

  • Sam Lee
    Documentary filmmaker: editor, director, producer. Send in the Clowns is Sam’s second feature documentary.
  • Greg Barrow
    Director, the United Nations World Food Programme, London Office
  • Professor Alpaslan Özerdem
    Co-Director, Centre for Trust, Peace and Social Relations, Coventry University specialising in the politics of humanitarian interventions, disaster response, conflict prevention, reintegration of former combatants and post-conflict state building.
  • Karen Davies
    Communications Officer for the UK and Ireland, United Nations Regional Information Centre (UNRIC)


Date and time

11 Nov 2015, 7:00pm - 9:00pm


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