Monday, October 20, 2014

Hollywood Film Festival tackled social impact issue of homelessness


 This story first appeared on Examiner.com


“People end up in homelessness for various reasons, “said Threatt. “Any one of us could end up homeless for the same reasons," said Winter Shelter System Manager Brenda Threatt.



“This festival is about films and entertainment and I’m delighted to be on this panel to talk about homelessness,” said Manager Brenda Threatt, Winter Shelter System for the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA). .  Threat was among a half dozen panelist for the Hollywood Film Festival
(Oct. 16-19). “Homelessness is not entertainment; it is a serious crisis in our country and community. I think is extraordinary that people in this industry and the Hollywood film Festival have come together to bring light to this issue,” explained Threatt. 

The 90-minute panel on homelessness was moderated by Executive Director John  Maceri, Ocean Park Community Center. In addition to LAHSA’s Brenda Threatt and John Maceri, the featured, distinguished  speakers included: Katie Stagliano, activist, The Starfish Throwers; Jacquelyn Aluotto, director and producer of the Nimby Experience and Evvy Shapero and Kara Fox, co-founders of Glamour Project.
“People end up in homelessness for various reasons, “said Threatt. “Any one of us could end up homeless for the same reasons. They are no different from us, they are people trying to live,” she said.

LAHSA, which will be counting the homeless in January, is seeking 5,000 volunteers to help in the Greater LA Homeless Count 2015. The last count showed 39,000 men, women and children in the City of LA have no place to call home. And in L.A. County homelessness amounts to around 58,000 over a 4,000 square mile area.

When asked “what can an individual do to help a homeless person,” she said, “We had several suggestions and the most basic one is to ‘care about them as people, to not step over them, not to ignore them, but to see them as human beings’. We should talk to our policymakers and make them accountable to these human beings who represent all of us,” explained Threatt.

Other highlights of the film festival on through tonight (Sunday, Oct. 19, 2014) included the debut showing of, “From Gangs to Gardens, Rap DJ Cavem Moetavation along with his midwife educates youth on eating healthier via organic garden (www.djcavem.com). D.J Cavem said, “We need to educate our youth to reduce obesity in schools and my music and this film is doing just that.”

And finally, during a break of the dozens of films on everything from homelessness to human trafficking, Film Festival Owner Brad Parks, COO, of CineCause
exclusively announced that he has come up with a new software program that will revolutionize the way filmmakers, own and sell their films globally online.

 He says it’s similar to DropBox, but more powerful in how social impact filmmakers produce, share and manage their film properties.  The Hollywood Film Festival ends Sunday night.


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