Poignant Testimonial, by Impact Movies, was Featured Attraction at Urban Pathway’s Virtual Gala and Helped Raise $500,000+ for Non-Profit
“One of the Best Short Movies I Have Seen,” Says CNN Anchor Bill Weir
Urban Pathways, a New York based non-profit providing the homeless with stable housing and life resources, and Impact Movies, an independent producer of multi-platform content for brands, events and causes, are premiering today “Artie’s Pathway Home,” a powerful short film depicting one man’s journey from homeless to finally finding his own home. The four and a half-minute film, produced by Bo Magnussen and directed by Zen Zadih Pace of Impact Movies, is a stirring testimonial in Artie’s words about his path over the last 30 years in New York, including the years he spent as a drug addict and homeless man forced to live in a box on 26th and Broadway. Through Urban Pathways, Artie has picked up the pieces of his life but his years on the street left a searing impression, which is poignantly captured in the film. “Artie’s Pathway Home” is now available for viewing HERE
“Arties Pathway Home is amazing piece of filmmaking by Bo Magnussen and Zen Zadih Pace that I found deeply moving,” said CNN anchor Bill Weir, who emceed the Urban Pathways gala and gave attendees a sneak peak of the film in May. “It’s one of the best short movies I have seen to showcase the work of an organization in a thoughtful and moving way.”
“Bo and Zen had an intuitive understanding of our mission and purpose, and how to tell that story,” said Frederick Shack, CEO of Urban Pathways. “Making this film through Artie’s eyes was an inspired choice and adds depth, courage and honesty to the finished product. ‘Artie’s Pathway Home’ is a very emotional, personal experience that will resonate with all audiences, especially at a time when the idea of ‘home’ has taken new meaning.”
Magnussen and Pace followed Artie throughout New York, including some of the places he spent nights on the street. Artie recounts those days in raw, honest detail.
“We wanted to create a story of hope and inspiration for those that are experiencing homelessness and to inspire people to donate to help organizations working on the problem,” said Magnussen.
“’Artie’s Pathway Home’ is a filmic mediation on a man’s journey from homelessness to having a stable place to live,” added Pace. “We wanted the elegance and humanity of Artie, which is why we incorporated the music stand with his book of poems. He only wrote poetry when he was high on heroin, so where the music stand was placed represented his past 30 years of using.”
Impact Movies has generated a profile in the content industry for producing short, meaningful films with strong first-person narratives and stirring, compelling visuals. Their storytelling is utterly unique amongst production houses in New York. They partnered with Urban Pathways to show the organization’s impact through the very people they are helping. “In a city that has so much wealth, I wondered why so many people lived on the streets and what can people do to help,” Magnussen asked. “Is it better to give them money, food, or a kind word and information? Is there enough supportive housing available? What is the shelter system like? Do people choose to live on the streets and how many of them are suffering from mental illness and addiction? In my search for answers, we talked to people living on the streets and working in shelters.”
Urban Pathways was mentioned frequently, so Magnussen contacted the organization. “They were receptive to the idea of doing a movie about homelessness, which would share with viewers the services they have been providing for those in need for 45 years.”
Magnussen and Pace then set about telling their story, but through the eyes of someone who has benefited from Urban Pathway’s services.
“We interviewed several people who all deserve to have their story told,” shared Pace. “We had very little time to shoot and Artie revealed a lot in a little bit of time, which was helpful.”
“When we met Artie, he was very talkative and open and his energy and enthusiasm and his story was captivating,” added Magnussen. “His apartment had a great view of the East River and the bridges and his poetry were personal and touching as well. We spent a few hours getting to know him before we came back to film him. That helped in forming a relationship and a level of trust, so that when the camera was rolling, he felt comfortable talking to us.”
The end result is a powerful, personal film that CNN’s Weir called “very touching and heartfelt.”
“The reaction from our donors, supporters, staff and the people we assist day-in and day-out has been unanimous,” said Shack. “This tells the Urban Pathways’ story in a way that has never been done before. We are incredibly proud of this film and our collaboration with Impact Movies, Bo and Zen.”
Urban Pathways mission is to move homeless New Yorkers off the street and into stable housing. Urban Pathways serves New York City’s most vulnerable residents – at-risk and homeless men and women, many of whom live with mental illness and/or substance use disorders. Each year, Urban Pathways helps more than 3,700 individuals achieve stability by providing housing to meet their needs and supportive services including case management, assessments, referrals to appropriate medical, behavioral health and other services, career development programs, and client advocacy. Urban Pathways’ approach to alleviating homelessness is effective – 95% of the individuals placed in housing are still stably housed one year later.