Documentary Production and Distribution News
Kindling Group and See3 Communications have just launched a crowdfunding drive for @home, a transmedia campaign that explores homelessness through documentary film, social media, and a smartphone “game for change.” It will roll out city by city, starting in Chicago in 2014 - saturating each community with screenings, events, and opportunities to tackle homelessness at the local level.
The @home campaign follows homeless activist Mark Horvath, the founder of Invisible People. Once homeless himself, Mark is now changing how the world views people experiencing homelessness using social media tools like YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook. Through Invisible People, Mark shares the stories of homeless people he meets on the streets, in tent cities, and under bridges. These interviews are raw, uncensored, and unedited — just like life on the streets. The Huffington Post named Mark one of 11 Twitter activists you should follow, and YouTube gave InvisiblePeople.tv unprecedented exposure by allowing Horvath to curate YouTube’s homepage for a day.
“We met Mark Horvath in 2010, and immediately knew that his story, and the story of homelessness in America, needed to be told,” says Danny Alpert, @home’s executive producer. “But we also knew we wanted to do more than just art — we wanted to actually move the needle on homelessness. The @home campaign aims to amplify Mark’s work, putting homelessness on the front burner."
The @home campaign began as a documentary following Mark as he road trips across the country recording the stories of the homeless people he meets along the way: a mother living out of a motel room with her five children, a young man suffering from depression who found community in a tent city, and the men living in the storm drains of Las Vegas. Mark and the strong, optimistic people we meet in this film challenge apathy, change our perceptions, and demand action. The film, to be completed in summer 2013, will air on PBS and will screen at educational, religious, community, and partner organizations in each campaign city.
The film will be supplemented by an interactive smartphone game, developed in partnership with PBS at the POV Hackathon 3 (http://to.pbs.org/ZuRTsv), that explores homelessness in a local context. Players will follow augmented-reality, location-based puzzles and activities on their iPhones around a neighborhood in their city to learn about homelessness. As they go, they’ll interact with people face to face, and will watch videos from homeless individuals. The game will also have a measurable impact: As they go, players collect “points” toward items for real home move-in kits (like beds, pots and pans, or towels) to help someone move into a new home.
@home will launch community by community, shining a light on local issues and the national challenges that homelessness poses. In each location, the campaign will partner with major national service organizations to host volunteer events and fundraising drives to help people into housing.