Sam Worth is a young girl in New York City with dreams of escaping the harsh reality of being homeless and music might be her key to survival. Her days are spent at a neglected public school where metal detectors are ranked higher in importance than textbooks and giving students the tools needed to succeed. At night she stays in a shelter with no warm bed of her own to collapse into after a long day and while her alcoholic mother loves her, she can’t help them get out of a depressing cycle that thousands of New Yorkers have to face daily. Worth’s story is the plot to the upcoming feature film Love Music Shelter but it’s far from fiction as over 63,000 estimated homeless people currently inhabit NYC shelters in 2018 and nearly 4,000 more citizens sleep in public spaces. Inspired by a real life encounter with a mother and daughter who had to deal with the complex challenges of being homeless in New York, Alixx Schottland (creator/producer/writer) alongside writing partner Paige Jennifer Barr began the journey of making this powerful film in 2015. After realizing the layers of issues that stem from the growing population of homeless teens in NYC, Schottland began volunteering at The Door ( a homeless drop in center for teens) and using her voice, platform, privilege and passion for filmmaking to inspire and help the youth of the organization.
Love Music Shelter is a project created from a mother’s relentless love and drive to bring awareness to a segment of the population that’s often disrespected, overlooked and seen as the outcome of living in a capitalist country where separatism and elitism dramatically affect the communities on the lower end of the social class spectrum. Awareness is the first necessary step to bringing change to any issue and the severity of homelessness can’t be highlighted enough. We might give a homeless man a couple dollars on the street, donate to food banks during the holidays or even try to help a family member or friend that has entered the system but our involvement has to be ongoing and united to illuminate this issue to our personal circles and help stop the growing homeless rates in America. It’s easy to focus on the daily stress of our personal problems and feel overwhelmed by the constant headlines showcasing the flaws in the world (mass shootings, education decline, global warming, etc). Retreating to our bubbles and protecting our fleeting happiness can feel mandatory for survival at times but we’re all a paycheck, injury, or unexpected health issue away from our world crashing down. We need to uplift, support and protect each other now more than ever.
Alixx has developed a vision for Love Music Shelter that will bring a very relevant story to the big screen in a major way. Citing inspirations from Fame, Begin Again and Empire, music and vivid storytelling will bring the inspiring journey to life. The film will feature actual shelters, intake centers and soup kitchens that are currently being utilized in New York. Homeless and formerly homeless young adults from The Door will take part in the production of Love Music Shelter as well as other at risk youth and homeless/formerly homeless young adults will play small roles throughout the film gaining skills and experiences that will positively impact their futures. With the film spanning two decades, the opportunity for rising and established talent to showcase their artistry is vast and everyone on board for the film will be a part of a story that is so much bigger than them and will help break down the societal barriers that prevent us from seeing the humanity in each other.
Aside from bringing awareness, Love Music Shelter ‘s objective is to give back to the communities that inspired this beautiful story. A percentage of profits from the success of the film will go to organizations like The Door and other homeless institutions so safer transitional shelters can be created and the organizations impacting lives on a daily basis can continue helping others gain their independence and freedom. On December 19th 2018, in honor of Love Music Shelter, a benefit concert will be held in Brooklyn, NY to raise money for the homeless youth and showcase the talents of some artists that have lived through the homeless issue and utilized the resources of organizations like The Door and other homeless institutions. With plans to begin shooting in early 2019, Love Music Shelter has a chance to capture a diverse audience that want to help lift up the marginalized communities around them.
According to the Coalition For The Homeless, “in recent years, homelessness in New York City has reached the highest levels since the Great Depression of the 1930s.” While we’re living in an extremely connected digital era and most of us don’t directly feel the painful struggles past generations felt, we’re far from “great” and we need to combat the issues that negatively impact our society. Art can start a conversation and invoke change. Sitting in a movie theater and getting lost in the mesmerizing storytelling in films like Moonlight and Sorry To Bother You is a simple way to support artists and observe real life issues in a safe setting but the important work comes after you leave the theater and channel the inspiration from these powerful films into your own life. I can’t wait to see how people impact the future after they finish watching Love Music Shelter.
For more information on Love Music Shelter visit: https://www.overtherainbowentertainment.com/
Article By: Marcel “The Messenger” Jeremiah