The LA Homeless: from street to screen… in “The Advocates”

This film, which premiered at the Los Angeles Film Festival 2018, will bring the daunting problem of homelessness some much needed exposure and awareness, as it’s gotten overwhelming, significantly in my neighborhood, Koreatown. In years past, if you were to ask a resident of Los Angeles, where are the homeless in the city,? the answer would most definitely be “skid row.” Now, a completely different answer, such as, “on my street corner.” If you go on the website,, so many complaints nonstop on homeless encampments right in the neighborhood, such as Hollywood and Santa Monica, most likely complaints about homeless, potentially with behaviors leading to crime. Director/producer Remi Kessler hopes to dispel this myth, as it’s easy to blame everything wrong with society with discomfort you see with people struggling. Yet they’ve become an easy target, a scapegoat, as it were, when people are being pushed to their limits in desperate times . Enter the film: “The Advocates,” a particularly different type of documentary on the homeless crisis, with much more hopefulness, featuring professionals and volunteers who genuinely care. States Kessler, “thousands of people out there are pounding the streets, working so hard, hoping to find a solution, and conveying not how bad it is, but how good it can be.” His job has been done, if this film leaves a positive message and new perspective to audience viewers, which it certainly does. Rudy Salinas, of the organization, Housing Works, who is a featured idealistic social worker in the film, states “I’m so proud to be doing this, particularly in Hollywood. Claudia Perez (founder of LA on Cloud 9) and Mel Tillekeratne (Monday Night Missions), also are tireless in their efforts in advocating for the homeless, along with the many volunteers who selflessly help and give of their time, money, clothing , energy, and most of all comosssion and love. Is our city and county doing enough to work on this immense problem? LA is not the place it once was, due to a combination of low paying minimum wage jobs, and increasingly high rent housing, despite measures HHH and H recently passing. States Mel, “ one thing that’s so hard in this film, is each case worker handling 30 cases to a hospital or social service agency, these clients become almost like family members.” Claudia Perez, in the film, portrays someone so dedicated that she often “takes her work home with her.” Anyone can truly end up on the street, if facing a variety of circumstances. In the beginning of making the film, Kessler learned how the county and city are a “huge machine,” yet politicians really do wish to engage the voters and bring them together as a community. “Just one final note: this film will first open( Oct 19)

at the Laemmle theatres in Santa Monica , Pasadena , and North Hollywood, to bring this discussion to Angelenos and engage community.” Go on social media and ‘like’ “The Advocates.” A powerful, beautiful, incredibly important film for the times we live in .

About Bonnie Priever Curtain Up!

I am a theatre reviewer extraordinairre. I attend and cover theatres ranging from large to small venues, and every subject from musical theatre to dramatic presentations. Also please check out my reviews at and my email is
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