Homelessness, Poverty, Mental Health, the Myth of the American dream.
“A BUS TO THE STARS” is a short film that raises awareness of the humanity of Homeless People with a heartfelt story and a language that is accessible to families and younger audiences.
SYNOPSIS: Gilda, Nelly, and Bepop are three homeless friends that live at a bus stop. Their life is the same every day: they wake up, perform their daily routine and try to interact with the people that come and go before their eyes. The bus stop is their home, a shelter they never dared to abandon. One day Hawk, an older fellow homeless, tells them about the existence of “the bus to the stars” that takes people to the “City of Angels” the place where dreams can come true. The news disrupts our trio’s ordinary life and triggers the desire to change destiny and depart towards the promised land. Will they be able to get to the city of Angels and make their own dreams come true?
The 2022 Homeless Count released by Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA) estimated that at least 69,144 people are experiencing homelessness in LA County. People experience homelessness for many different reasons. They include poverty, lack of affordable housing, stagnant income, employment discrimination, substance abuse, mental health challenges, LGBTQ kids who are rejected by families, domestic violence, lack of familial ties, and kids who age out of foster care.
Homelessness is a topic rarely depicted in film and often ignored by the media, yet it is growing under our eyes every day and deserves our attention. A BUS TO THE STARS raises awareness of the issue with a heartfelt story and a language accessible to both adult and young audiences.
I wrote this script after volunteering in homeless shelters and after meeting the real Gilda, Nelly, and Bepop at a bus stop on Sunset boulevard. It’s based on true stories that the homeless I met shared with me. I combined their narratives into a simple fiction that uses comedy and a hint of fantasy to depict the tragedy of homelessness. It’s almost like a tale about homelessness and I chose to use this language because it is accessible to all audiences, relatable, and empathetic. The film will intercut fiction and real documentary footage taken on the streets. My aim with this film is to show people the human side of homelessness and inspire action for change.
TO PRODUCE THIS FILM and SUPPORT THE HOMELESS COMMUNITY!
We’re looking to raise money that will help us secure resources to produce this short film while helping the homeless community at the same time. 20% of every $ contribution we’ll receive will go to charity and help the homeless living on the street.
**A BUS TO THE STARS is a sponsored project of FILM INDEPENDENT, a non-profit independent media and arts organization. Film Independent will receive grants for the charitable purposes of A BUS TO THE STARS, provide oversight to ensure that grant funds are used in accordance with grant agreements, and provide reports as required by the grantor. Contributions for the charitable purposes of A BUS TO THE STARS are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law.
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IMAGINE YOU ARE HOMELESS.
How would you want to be treated? When you are homeless, you need shelter and something to carry your belongings. With this, came invention: a backpack with storage that rolls out into an all-weather protected Bed. Backpack Bed for Homeless (Swags for Homeless Ltd.) was established in Melbourne in 2007. Founder Tony Clark and his wife Lisa designed the life-saving Sleeping Bag Hypothermia Pack and the Backpack Bed® (emergency swag) to give dignity to homeless people without shelter.
For this project, we have partnered with Backpack Bed for Homeless and 20% of the funds raised will go towards the purchase of Backpack Beds® for the homeless living on the street in Los Angeles.
COXY – Writer, Director, E.P. Coxy was born in Italy and raised between Milan and Paris. She started her career in the fashion industry, working as a creative for luxury fashion brands such as Gucci, Dolce & Gabbana, Prada, Gianfranco Ferré, and Roberto Cavalli, where she designed fashion collections and directed video Ad campaigns and short fashion films. In 2013, she moved to Los Angeles and started working as a Costume Designer. She designed costumes for feature films, TV shows, commercials, short films, and music videos. At the same time, she wrote, produced, and directed short films and fashion films. She’s currently developing her feature debut “Rendez-vous” and has recently been shadowing director Rob Seidenglanz on the TV show “The Rookie Feds”. Her work has been featured in Vogue, Marie Claire, and L’Officiel, among other international magazines as well as within the exhibition “The New Vocabulary of Italian Fashion” at the Triennale Museum of Design in Milan. Her films have been featured at international film festivals and won awards.
GAËLLE JAUNAY-CALENDINI – Producer. Gaëlle Jaunay-Calendini is a French-American award-winning creative producer. Specializing in “ stories with a heart “ for high-end commercial brands, she was responsible for bringing plus-size models to the fashion industry more than 10 years ago through breakthrough campaigns for H&M or Levis, as well as for pushing to include a more diverse cast and crew on sets. She created an “ itinerary cinema “ from 2000-2010 in France where she would project movies for homeless people and this story touches her deeply.
ANTHONY DI MARIA – Producer. Anthony DiMaria is a producer and director located in Los Angeles, California. After starting in the non-profit sector, producing and directing films focused on fundraising and gathering donors, Anthony has gone on to produce and direct promotional content for Fortune 100 companies, independent short and feature films, and national commercials.
AUSTIN WELSH – Line Producer Austin Welsh is a line producer and production coordinator based in Los Angeles, CA. Originally from the California Bay Area, he moved to Los Angeles in 2011 to study math and economics at USC. His career has included work in supply chain economics, agricultural importing, and insurance, and he is currently a freelance producer. He received line producer training from the Producer’s Guild of America in Washington D.C. and has previously worked on Comedy Central shows, Disney Live Events, and Netflix competition series.
DÓNAL RAFFERTY – Composer was born in Dublin Ireland. Dónal has a Music Degree at the National University of Ireland Maynooth and a Master’s Degree at King’s College London. He is an alumnus of the IMRO Irish Composition Summer School (2007) and holds diplomas in piano performance and music theory from London College of Music and Trinity College London respectively. His string + wind quintet Aquastrata (2005) was awarded the 2010 IMRO Award for Chamber Ensemble composition. His music has been performed by ensembles such as Lontano, Concorde, The Penbridge Trio, the Taylor Festival Choir, and the Charleston Symphony Orchestra both in Europe and the USA and used in film and commercial content. He is an award-winner of the 2020 Indie Film Music Contest. Dónal is a member of ASCAP and The SCL. He has a special interest in collaborating with visual storytellers in the environmental activism and social justice fields.
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We appreciate you taking the time to connect with us and read our story. In case you can’t contribute a few dollars to this campaign, you can still help us spread the message. Please SHARE the link abustothestars.com on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Tik Tok, Linkedin, or wherever your community is. Follow us on our social media and repost our updates. You can make a HUGE difference with just TWO CLICKS and these actions are 100% FREE. We appreciate anything you can do to help us bring this film to life and help as many homeless people as possible.
From the A BUS TO THE STARS team
SPECIAL THANKS TO:
Rick Worthy (Associate Producer) ● Christopher Canullo ● Ellen Goldsmith-Vein ● D.J. Goldberg ● Rob Seidenglanz ● Ethan Hull ● Janet Lee ● Marina Rocco ● Sébastien Régimbald ● Eddie Williams ● Luisa Ajello (associate producer) ● Luca Cianchetta ● Regan Moore
THANK YOU TO:
Enrica Ajello ● Giancarlo Rodoni ● Cindy Choi ● Carrie Spencer ● Charlotte Gavaris ● Sammi Rotibi ● Ernest Kingsley Jr. ● Marco Vaccarezza ● Alvaro Valente ● Simone Sello ● Elaine McKay ● Gabriel Beristain ● Manuela Calistri ● Courtney Allen ● Landen Moore ● Andrew Sutherland ● Maria Scenna ● Luca Severi ● Ivan Olita ● Simon Kassianides ● Alice Braccini ● Valentina Socci ● Martyna Dubensky ● Stefania Spampinato ● Martha J Nieto ● Gioia Libardoni ● Brianna Murphy ● Rachael Grant ● Gareth Taylor ● Michael Monks ● Heather Jenkins ● Giulia Marletta ● Mark Pintar ● Geoffrey Mallard ● Amanda Khan ● Angel Oquendo ● Tyrone Giordano ● Abby Victor ● Hayden Sullivan ● Marta Gastini ● Vittorio Carotenuto ● Andrew Conrad ● Matthieu Aquino ● Marco Mavilla ● Brigitta and Christian Hoeferle ● Amanda Buchanan Moorhead ● Ara Agnerian ● Massimo Geraci