“The Documentary Short Film, What if… has been selected as the winner of the 2019 Dan Eldon Activist Award and Best Documentary Award at the 15th Annual MY HERO International Film Festival in Laguna Beach, California,” announced Wendy Milette, Film Festival Director, on December 20th, 2019
Adeptly combining the crafts of directing, editing, music and storytelling, award winning filmmaker Noah Berlow of Immortal Cinema International directed the short documentary What if… which showcases the life changing activism of the Illumination Foundation (IF) of Orange County and its founder, Paul Leon, CEO, who are beginning to solve the problem of homelessness one family at a time.
Working in collaboration with Paul Leon and Terry Campbell from the Illumination Foundation, the Veterans In Cinema Foundation (VICF), Writer/Co-Producer Aryn Free Kelly, and the composers of the film’s emotional, poetic score, Chris Landon and recording artist, Szilva Vecserdy, of 222 Music Group, Berlow tells the heartbreaking stories of some of the homeless. What if… shatters preconceptions of homelessness, explores the ramifications of unstable housing for children, and shows how the Illumination Foundation provides a solution to adverse childhood experiences.
Berlow’s skillful direction produces an enlightening meld of life’s hardships and the Illumination Foundation’s response which evokes empathy and compassion from the audience as they better understand how homelessness can occur and they feel inspired to help fix the often hidden problem of homelessness rampant in today’s society.
To view “What if…, here is the direct link to the film: https://myhero.com/what-if-2
The Dan Eldon Activist Award is named for Dan Eldon, a passionate activist, artist and photojournalist who was fearless in his quest to help others and his desire to tell the stories that others were not. Sadly, Dan was killed at the age of 22 while working as a photo-journalist in Somalia.
Kathy Eldon of the Creative Visions Foundation presents the Dan Eldon Activist Award in memory of her son to the filmmaker who best uses media to effect positive change. She said, “With emotional interviews and eye opening footage, “What if…” provides an intimate look into the heartbreaking reality of the homelessness crisis. Not only does it bring critical awareness to the issue but it also sheds light on the hope that organizations like the Illumination Foundation provide to those suffering from it. It’s sure to impact anyone who watches it and will hopefully encourage people to support the Illumination Foundation and organizations like it!”
“It is such an honor to be mentioned in the same breath as heroic creative activist and photojournalist Dan Eldon,” said Berlow. “It has always been part of the mission of our film production company, Immortal Cinema (ICI) to use our creative skills to shed light on projects that raise our consciousness and on activist organizations and cultural leaders like the Illumination Foundation who are bringing about positive social change.” He added, ”We are also grateful for the participation of the Veterans in Cinema Foundation (VICF) who contributed to this project.”
In the spirit of the philanthropic mission of the film, Berlow donated the cash award presented by the MY HERO International Film Festival to the Illumination Foundation and Veterans in Cinema Foundation.
Photo caption for main photo: The “What If . . . ” movie showcases the life changing activism of the Illumination Foundation of Orange County and its founder, Paul Leon, CEO, who are beginning to solve the problem of homelessness one family at a time.
Noah Berlow is a graduate of the Park School of Communications at Ithaca College where he received the Outstanding Young Alumni Award in 2014. He currently resides in Los Angeles, CA, where he continues to tell stories visually through his film production company Immortal Cinema International, LLC, which straddles two worlds, the world of entertainment and the world of serious documentaries to educate, raise consciousness, and help bring about positive change.
IMMORTAL CINEMA INTERNATIONAL, LLC, is Berlow’s award winning production company which has over 400 credits directing, producing, and editing feature length and short documentaries and narrative films that have appeared on Netflix, BBC, VH1’s Palladia TV, and BET. https://www.immortalcinema.com
VETERANS IN CINEMA FOUNDATION is a 501(c)3 dedicated to providing paid entertainment industry jobs to U.S. Military Veterans. https://www.vicf.org
ILLUMINATION FOUNDATION is a 501(c)(3) driven by the desire to keep homeless families together and provide wraparound services in order to disrupt the cycle of homelessness in Orange County, California. https://www.ifhomeless.org
MY HERO is a non-profit educational project that empowers people to effect positive change in the world through cross-cultural communication, human rights, environmental awareness, tolerance, media literacy and the arts. Since 1995, more than 100 million people from 197 countries have participated in the MY HERO Project where visitors can search a vast multimedia journal to learn about heroes from all walks of life. It’s a great resource for teachers. (https://myhero.com)