Chris, a resident in our community, has just hit the big screen after attending the premiere of hard-hitting homelessness documentary film, ‘I’m Still Here’.
Chris joined Emmaus Hertfordshire in 2020, after being supported by homelessness charity Under One Sky, whose incredible work is highlighted in the film documenting their support of homeless people during the Covid pandemic.
I’m Still Here by Franc Vissers was shot in London during the first year of the pandemic when hundreds of people, including Chris, were left “locked out” on the streets.
This film gives Chris, affectionately called ‘Pops’ in the movie, and his contemporaries a powerful voice during this disturbing time and highlights the efforts of Under One Sky, who defied the virus and stepped out to support these vulnerable people.
I’m Still Here’s executive producers include Emmy award winning director/producer duo Ian Bonhôte and Dee Ryder (Misfits Entertainment) and multi award-winning actress Elizabeth McGovern (Downton Abbey).
A million miles from those bleak times, Chris found himself in the company of celebrities, including Sir Mick Jagger and his daughter Jade, at an exclusive film screening at Google’s headquarters in Covent Garden last Wednesday.
Speaking after the star-studded preview, an overwhelmed Chris said: “It was a very emotional night – I was sitting in the cinema with Elizabeth (McGovern) on one side of me and another lovely lady on the other side of me and they were both holding my hand. Elizabeth has been my mate for the last three and a half years, so we’ve been on a journey together. I couldn’t sleep that night as it was such an emotional evening.
“Before the film started, Franc did a speech and Mikkel thanked all the homeless people that are featured in the film which was lovely. We also had a meal with the cast and crew which was wonderful. Somebody told me that Mick Jagger had been there and I said “what?!” He was there with his daughter Jade, who had been invited, but I didn’t know they were there at the time!”
Asked what it’s like being a film star, Chris said: “I don’t know, I’m still waiting to find out! I haven’t had Spielberg on the phone yet!”
Chris has a key role in the film, being interviewed in Soho Square when he was homeless and also featuring in a subsequent interview at our community where Directors Franc and Elizabeth visited to film him after he’d been living with us for six months.
During the pandemic, the small community group Under One Sky began a daily emergency response for people experiencing homelessness, providing food, water, life necessities and human connection. Within weeks a handful of people grew into a movement with hundreds of brave Londoners coming together to support “the forgotten ones”.
The film is due to be rolled out at selected cinemas in December, with more details expected soon. Plans are also afoot to release it on DVD.
Thanks to the support of Under One Sky and Emmaus, Chris has overcome homelessness, transformed his life and is now a regular face on the till in our Tring second-hand shop. He loves to chat and share his experience with our customers and he will be happy to talk about his recent foray into the movie world.
To watch a trailer of the movie, click on the link: https://tinyurl.com/3etuhutu
After its release, all profits of the film are being donated to Under One Sky and to support the futures of those featured on screen including Chris.