LOS ANGELES, CA (November 8, 2012) – The 2011 SAMHSA Voice award-winning documentary film LOST ANGELS: SKID ROW IS MY HOME, narrated by Catherine Keener, will premiere in Los Angeles at the ArcLight Cinemas in Hollywood on December 7th, 2012. The film, directed by Thomas Q. Napper, produced by Agi Orsi (“Dogtown and Z-Boys” “Riding Giants”) and Executive Produced by Gary Foster (“The Soloist,” “Daredevil,” “Sleepless in Seattle”) who also produced the Jamie Foxx/ Robert Downey Jr. film “The Soloist,” is being released by Cinema Libre Studio.
LOST ANGELS is the directorial debut for Napper, who served as the second-unit director on “The Soloist.” That film told the story of Nathaniel Ayers, a homeless musician with Julliard training, based on stories written by Los Angeles Times columnist Steve Lopez and was financed by DreamWorks Pictures, Universal Pictures and Participant Media and released in 2009 by Paramount Pictures and Universal Pictures.
The film began as a passion project for Napper and many of the project’s producers and crew who were charmed by the homeless people auditioning as extras for “The Soloist” who shared their personal stories. They include: Danny Harris, a former Olympian; Lee Anne Levan, a “Cat Lady” and trash collector; her boyfriend, “K.K.,” who was murdered in 2009 on the streets of Los Angeles; “Bam Bam,” a transgender, recovering drug addict and Terri “Detroit” Hughes, an aspiring actress. It highlights the community services provided by Lamp Community, LACAN (Los Angeles Community Action Network) and The Midnight Mission.
“The idea right from the beginning was to let the people of Skid Row speak for themselves. We were blown away by their dignity, their resilience, their honesty and their stories about life dealing with mental illness and addiction on Skid Row,” says Napper. “We set out to show the poetry in the person with schizophrenia and the wisdom in the heart of a person trying to break a crack addiction.” Based in the UK, Napper also performed second-unit duties on “Atonement” and “Pride & Prejudice.”
LOST ANGELS: SKID ROW IS MY HOME takes an uncompromising yet life-affirming look at the lives of eight remarkable individuals, people who have found a way to make a life for themselves within the community of homelessness. The film shows how their descent into society’s basement has been exacerbated by the forces of gentrification and the increasing criminalization of homeless people, while exposing the draconian changes to the mental health care system that have brought us here.
With the support of a vast array of advocates, especially the services of LAMP, the mission featured in the Jamie Foxx/ Robert Downey Jr. film, THE SOLOIST, many residents of Skid Row have found a way to stick together and fight back. Narrated by actress Catherine Keener, LOST ANGELS demonstrates how proactive approaches to homelessness–most specifically that of providing housing–are helping many to recover from mental illness and substance abuse and to find stability. For many, Skid Row is, improbably, the last place to find refuge and build a life of meaning, proving that sometimes home is where the help is./
The film shows a decidedly less glamorous side of Los Angeles that is rarely depicted on screen and is, perhaps one of two films that show life from the perspective of the people living in the homeless capital of America.
It was awarded a 2011 VOICE Award from SAMHSA (Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration) which honors television and film professionals for their efforts to educate the public about the real experiences of people with behavioral health problems. In addition to letting homeless people speak for themselves, the doc touches on the key issues that create homelessness, including the reduction of mental health facilities since the 1950s and especially under Ronald Reagan; the redevelopment and gentrification of low-income areas that are declared blighted and then demolished to make way for projects that generate higher property taxes and other revenue, creating a shortage of housing affordable to low-income working families, the elderly poor, and the disabled; and, the failure of urban housing projects to provide safe, secure, and affordable housing to the poor.
The film was produced by Agi Orsi (“Dogtown and Z-Boys” “Riding Giants”), with Executive Producers Susan Klos (CEO, Big Time Picture Company) and Joe Wright (“The Soloist,” “Atonement,”) with associate producer and location manager, Karen Gilbert and additional support was provided by contributions from the Hilton Foundation and other groups.
Additional information can be found at: www.lostangelsfilm.com | Twitter @skidrowismyhome | Facebook
ABOUT LAMP: Lamp Community’s mission is to end homelessness of Los Angeles’ most vulnerable individuals – primarily adults living with mental illness – through a continuum of services and housing, enabling them to reach their highest level of self-sufficiency and community integration. Lamp Community (“Lamp”), originally founded in 1985 as the Los Angeles Men’s Place, functioned as a daytime drop-in center for men living with mental illness and experiencing homelessness. Today, Lamp offers a continuum of community and field based services including Permanent Supportive Housing to end homelessness for women and men. Lamp’s housing programs are based on the “Housing First” model, a nationally recognized best practice and approach that Lamp helped to pioneer more than two decades ago. In addition to its own client-driven services, Lamp offers job counseling services, alcohol and drug addiction recovery services, legal services and primary health care through successful community partnerships. http://www.lampcommunity.org/
ABOUT CINEMA LIBRE: Cinema Libre Studio is a leader in distributing social-issue documentaries and features by passionate filmmakers. Headquartered in Los Angeles, the Cinema Libre team has released over one hundred films including the Sundance Audience Award‐Winning FUEL, THE END OF POVERTY?, Rachid Bouchareb’s LONDON RIVER and Oliver Stone’s SOUTH OF THE BORDER. The studio is developing John Perkins’ best‐selling memoirs, CONFESSIONS OF AN ECONOMIC HIT MAN, into a major motion picture. For more information and updates, please visit: www.cinemalibrestudio.com| Updates | Facebook | Twitter . ###
DETAILS & CONTACTS:
STARTS FRIDAY 12/7/2012
ARCLIGHT CINEMAS HOLLYWOOD
6360 W. Sunset Blvd. Los Angeles
For screener or interview requests regarding the film, contact firstname.lastname@example.org, ph: 818-349-8822
For media inquiries about Lamp Community, please contact Michelle Horton, MichelleH@lampcommunity.org, p: 213-270-9040