‘The Advocates’ Opens Tonight
Pacific Palisades Task Force on Homelessness former president Maryam Zar said that “The Advocates,” a documentary on Los Angeles’ homeless crisis, had its origins in Pacific Palisades.
“Advocates” Director/Producer Rémi Kessler visited the Palisades to see how the PPTFH program worked. She also visited other areas of Los Angeles and then documented the work of advocates who seek supportive housing for their clients in Los Angeles.
Following a sold-out premiere at the Lost Angeles Film Festive, the documentary will open tonight, October 19, at the Laemmle Monica in Santa Monica.
The movie gives facts such as, nearly 54,000 people are homeless in Los Angeles every night, and than follows three advocates from three different organizations as they attempt to help transients/clients.
The film examines the historic and current causes of L. A’s crises, which director Kessler concludes is largely due to defunded affordable housing. The film shows the work that is possible with the right resources, funding and compassion.
The film features advocates Claudia Perez, Rudy Salinas, and Mel Tillekeratne, and the organizational work of LA on Cloud9, Housing Works, and Monday Night Mission.
Experts/politicians/writers featured include: Celina Alvarez (Executive Director, Housing Works), Gary Blasi (UCLA, Professor of Law Emeritus), Jerry Jones (Inner City Law Center), Mary Kirchen (Founder, Housing Works), Steve Lopez (Columnist, LA Times), Alisa Orduna (Homeless Policy Director, Mayor Garcetti’s Office), Mark Ridley-Thomas (LA County Supervisor 2nd District), David Ryu (LA City Councilmember CD4), and Paul Tepper (Western Center on Law & Poverty).
Kessler’s prior work includes numerous commercials, feature films, music videos, television series and corporate films. Over the last decade, the director has produced several documentaries, including “The Wonderful History of the Hollywood Studios” and “Shadows and Lights.”
“Many Angelenos are very concerned with the homeless situation in Los Angeles which has reached a critical point,” Kessler said. “During filming I saw everyone, from government to just regular folks like you and me getting together to try to find a solution. I hope ‘The Advocates’ will help change our hearts and minds regarding what we can do as a community to help all those people sleeping in our streets.”
The movie will play through October 26 at the Laemmle theater (1332 2nd St, Santa Monica, CA 90401). There will be a Q & A period following the screening on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.” For tickets, visit: Laemmle.com/films/44520. To watch a trailer of the film, visit: advocatesfilm.com.