SANFORD, Fla. — A man from Central Florida, whose immigration status kept him outside of the United States for more than a year, is now hoping a documentary premiering in Sanford Sunday helps others facing immigration struggles.
The premiere date, December 9, will mark two years since Henry Dorvil first left the U.S. for Haiti to work out issues with his immigration status.
When Spectrum News 13 first reported on Henry Dorvil nearly two years ago, he was stuck in Haiti.
Dorvil grew up in Orlando and ran a production company in Sanford. But when he went back to Haiti in December 2016 to clear up the issue with his immigration status — that stemmed from when he was just a child — he couldn’t get back into the United States.
While in Haiti for a year, Dorvil documented everything with a video camera.
“It’s a great story, it’s a journey,” he said. “I filmed everything while I was overseas. I filmed everything from when I was off the plane until I came back home.”
After the Sanford community rallied, with people writing dozens of letters of support in the #HelpHenry campaign, Dorvil says the U.S. eventually granted him access to return home to Central Florida.
“As much as I’m back and everybody’s happy for me, it’s still such a big issue, and there’s still a bunch of other people who don’t agree,” he said.
Dorvil is now working on the finishing touches on a documentary about his journey. Help Henry premieres in Sanford Sunday. He says most people continue to support him, but not everyone.
“Someone (said) I’m an immigrant, I’ll never be a citizen, and all these crazy things,” Dorvil said.
He says he hopes his film will educate people.
“(I want to) educate people, who might not be too familiar with what people might have to go through in those type of situations, because if you don’t know, you might not understand,” Dorvil said.
Some of the proceeds from tickets to the film will go to a nonprofit Dorvil formed, the Henry Dorvil Foundation, that’s aimed at helping immigrants who find themselves in a situation like he found himself in.
“It’s a bigger mission. There are millions of immigrants in America. I’m not the only person who got stuck in another country. So I feel like I have to speak up for those people too,” he said.
Dorvil’s documentary premieres Sunday, December 9 at the Wayne Densch Performing Arts Center in Sanford.