Film producer Diane Nilan, who previously ran the homeless shelter at Hesed House, has been invited to Rosary as part of their Human Rights week activities. Nilan has been on the road for the past 6 years, living in and working out of her modest motorhome, traveling over 130,000 miles of mostly backroads chronicling homelessness. Her Naperville-based national nonprofit organization, HEAR US Inc., gives voice and visibility to homeless children and youth.
Laura Vazquez, the film's director, teaches at Northern Illinois University in the communication department. She and Nilan have worked together on several homelessness-awareness films over the past 6 years. Her film expertise combined with Nilan's knowledge of homelessness has gained national attention and respect, opening doors of Congress for film screenings and leading to on the edge being selected for the Broadcast Education Association Festival of Media Arts, First Place Faculty Division this April. At September's Naperville Independent Film Festival, a record crowd of nearly 300 people attended the on the edge screening.
Technical improvements, including closed-captioning, will make the film eligible for airing on public television stations nationwide. Nilan promises a huge grassroots campaign to get the film shown on PBS affiliates nationwide. She points out, "The seven women in this film speak for millions of others in similar situations, mostly invisible, struggling with homelessness, trauma and poverty. They must be heard!"
The screening at Rosary will be a joint fundraiser for Mutual Ground, the Fox Valley's domestic violence shelter, and HEAR US. Free-will donations ensure everyone can afford to attend. For more information, visit the HEAR US website (http://hearus.us), or call 630/225-5012.
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