Haiti Love traces the story of Jay and Kris TeBrake of rural Prinsburg as they adopt two girls from an orphanage in Haiti. Pioneer’s Senior Producer Dana Johnson produced and directed the documentary, Dan Huiting was the director of photography with additional videography by Kristofor Gieske. Kevin Russell was the editor for the program which originally aired on Mother’s Day in May 2014. Pioneer has planned another broadcast of Haiti Love for Sunday, September 21, 2014 at 7:00 p.m. with a repeat broadcast on Monday, September 22 at 1:30 p.m. The program can also be viewed online at video.pioneer.org/video/2365244418/.
According to Johnson, the process of making Haiti Love was both “demanding” and “miraculous.” Johnson raised the funds and secured Pioneer’s backing, arranged the travel (with “insane logistics”) and then worked day and night for 10 days in Haiti with award-winning videographer Huiting. Upon her return, she became violently ill and yet still had to organize and prepare to capture the Minnesota footage contained in the story.
“It was very emotional,” Johnson recalls. “Adoption is a difficult topic to present,” she added. “We were so grateful to the TeBrakes for their courage, honesty and willingness to show what the process is like.” Johnson is also quick to give credit to editor Kevin Russell whose artful presentation of the story lends a “contemporary and evocative” feel to the documentary.
“We are thrilled to receive an Upper Midwest Emmy for the second year in a row,” said Pioneer General Manager Les Heen. “Our folks have worked hard to produce high-quality programs for our viewers, and it is terrific to see that hard work recognized with an Emmy Award.”