EXCLUSIVE: Cinema Libre Studio has acquired rights to The Advocates, Rémi Kessler’s documentary focusing on the growing homeless crisis in Los Angeles. The deal comes as the pic has its world premiere Saturday in the LA Muse section of the Los Angeles Film Festival. The film will screen next month at the Woodstock Film Festival and get a limited theatrical release beginning October 19.
The film centers on both the historic and current causes of L.A.’s rising homeless crisis and the advocates working to house them, and features the campaign to pass Measure H, which Los Angeles County voters eventually approved in March 2017; the sales tax increase aims to generate about $355 million a year for homeless services and programs. The county estimates as many as 58,000 are homeless on a given night.
The film was sponsored by the United Way of Greater Los Angeles and produced by KSA Productions. Among the “advocates” featured include Housing Works’ Rudy Salinas, LA on Cloud9 founder Claudia Perez and Monday Night Mission’s Mel Tillekeratne.
“Many Angelenos are very concerned with the homeless situation in Los Angeles which has reached a critical point,” said Kessler, whose credits include Orson Welles: Shadow and Lights and The Wonderful History of the Hollywood Studios. “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 Advocates premieres Saturday at 2 PM at the ArcLight Hollywood.
The trailer includes LA County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas and UCLA professor Gary Blasi, who says the county’s homeless population has “tripled or quadrupled” in the past four or five years. Check it out above.