Senior directs documentary on LA homelessness crisis, screens movie

Sophie Haber

Charley Connon ’18 screened his documentary about the homeless crisis in Los Angeles “God’s Children,” which he produced with funding from a Harvard-Westlake fellowship May 25.

Working alongside Assistant Director Abner Benitez ’18 and Chief Photographer Pavan Tauh ’18, Connon researched homelessness by speaking to city councilmen, police officers and homeless individuals.

“The most impactful part for me [of the documentary-making process] would be going down to Skid Row,” Connon said “It’s crazy. It’s like Dante’s Inferno. There are people walking in the streets, there are people shooting up heroin on the sidewalks and [there are] people literally stabbing each other. There are people trying to break your windows and everything. It’s very scary, and it’s sad that there are so many people that have to be on that Skid Row beat.”

Motivated by his curiosity to learn more about why there is such a large homeless population in Los Angeles, Connon has been involved in the issue of homelessness in Los Angeles since sixth grade and was inspired to produce the documentary, he said.

“By watching the documentary, I hope people get a better grasp on the issue and many of the factors that contribute to homelessness,” Connon said. “I hope that it removes some of the negative stigmas and myths regarding the issue, as well.”

Earlier in the year, Connon produced a simulation of homeless migration patterns using animation effects to alter film of around thirty students moving on the field.