Monybany Dau, 38, is trying to help rebuild Atar, the south Sudan village he grew up in as a boy.
Civil war broke out in the country when Dau was nine-years-old. He says he left his family, fled the village and ended up joining the Sudan People's Liberation Army to stay safe.
Dau now lives in Red Deer, where he is showing his documentary, The Ladder of My Life, this weekend.
The CBC's Terri Trembath reports.