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Fort Myers Film Festival set to debut ‘Harry Chapin: When in Doubt, Do Something’

Southwest Florida has seen a major increase in food insecurity among community members during the pandemic. Harry Chapin Food Bank of Southwest Florida is among the organizations that has collected donations to help every family in need.

Families lost jobs and the means to provide the necessities, and the car lines began, and volunteers were there almost immediately to meet them in a time of need.

The effort by Harry Chapin Food Bank is one that continues due to a beginning that starts with the man the nonprofit is named after. As we document what is happening now in in the region, a film documents how Harry Chapin, the singer-songwriter and philanthropist, went on his journey to inspire the work that continue to support our communities.

Fort Myers Film Festival will premiere “Harry Chapin: When in Doubt, Do Something,” Thursday at Sidney and Berne Davis Art Center downtown. We spoke to Chapin’s son, Jason Chapin, about what the film means to him.

“Harry Chapin was one of the greatest story tellers of all time,” Jason said. “He wanted to change the world, and he did.”

Many know Harry Chapin’s life on stage, and the documentary will give people a front-row seat to his life as a humanitarian.

“I think they can expect a very unusual film about a very unusual person,” Jason said.

The film brought was meaningful for Jason, and he hopes its the same for all viewers.

“It was an emotional experience to put the film together, but I learned a lot about my father that I didn’t know before,” Jason said. “And it filled in a couple pieces for me.”

A star-studded lineup is also featured in the film, people who share their own experiences with Chapin.

“One of my favorite parts is Billy Joel talking about his relationship with my father,” Jason said. “They had a very good rapport, and Billy Joel was very impressed by my father’s activism and my father’s willingness to do anything for anybody.”

Fort Myers Film Festival runs through Sunday. Masks are suggested, and social distancing will be practiced.

Jason hopes the film inspires the potential within ourselves.

“The message we hope people come away with is that everybody can do something,” Jason said. “A lot of people are already doing something, and if we were together, we can do incredible things.”

MORE: Fort Myers Film Festival website

Reporter:Michelle Mackonochie
Writer:Jack Lowenstein
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