GoPro Cameras Allow an Unvarnished Window as Residents Document Their Journey
St. George, UT — August 19, 2016 — The Dixie State University DOCUTAH International Documentary Film Festival presents Switchpoint: A View from the Roundhouse. Homelessness affects every community in the United States. In St. George, Utah, a new approach is finding success in switching its clients to a new and different track. The documentary, produced and directed by film students at Dixie State University, is told from the perspective of the residents who, using GoPro cameras, present the viewer with an unvarnished window into their daily lives.
The film will be screened three times during the Festival with the world premiere gala on Monday, September 5th at 6 P.M,.beginning with a dinner at Cappeletti’s Restaurant. Tickets for the dinner, which includes a ticket to the film, are available at Http://tickets.dsutix.com/DOCUTAHSwitchpointGalaDinnerandScreening or at the DSU Box Office for $50 per person. This event is presented by Cherry Creek Radio, The City of St. George and Dixie State University, Cappeletti’s Restaurant and Downtown Yoga for the benefit of the
Switchpoint Community Resource Center. Tickets for the screening alone are $10 at the door while seats are available. Other screenings will be held on Thursday, Sept 8 at 7:00 PM, Eccles Main Stage and Saturday, Sept 10 at 12:55 PM, Eccles Concert Hall. DOCUTAH tickets may be purchased at https://tickets.dsutix.com/eventperformances.asp?evt=14.
“One of the hardest things to overcome is public perception about our residents. They are real people who are often misjudged and mistreated,” Said Carol Hollowell, Executive Director of Switchpoint. “That often makes it very difficult for them to get out of the vicious cycle of homelessness and poverty, into which many fall through no fault of their own. My hope is that this film will show the community how these people struggle and how they pull together to help themselves and each other.”
“We had a film submitted to the DOCUTAH Festival this year from Trinidad in which underprivileged students were given GoPro cameras to show how their exposure to art and their artistic endeavors changed their lives,” said Phil Tuckett, Executive Director of DOCUTAH. “It struck our students that this technique could allow them to tell the story of the residents of Switchpoint in a truly intimate way.”
Beyond food and shelter, Switchpoint Community Resource Center provides a stepping stone to independence for homeless individuals. The analogy of the switchpoint seemed a fitting symbol for its mission. A train naturally follows the path of a railroad track, but one simple device is used to redirect them when needed. This mechanism is crucial for efficiently getting trains to their intended destinations, a feat nearly impossible otherwise. The name of this device is a switch point.
“The Switchpoint Community Resource Center was established by The City of St. George to provide the support and services needed to get the homeless back on track, all in one central location,” remarked St. George Mayor Jon Pike. “Switchpoint holds the promise of a fresh start and ample opportunity to improve one’s circumstances.
Pike said the City wanted a place where the community could come together for a common goal. Council members put aside half a million dollars in grant money and another $2 million in federal funds to get the center up and running. “The beauty of this situation is that with the city being kind of the umbrella organization, we could help put everyone together and although everyone does a different component and fulfills different needs, they all have one ultimate goal, which is to help people.”