Church: First Presbyterian Church of Orlando
Submitted by: Donovan McCloskey
Church Size: 2,001-5,000
Location: Orlando, FL
Category: Best Narrative/Concept, Best Life-Change Story, Best Video
Gear: Lumix GH5
This video was one of 6 in a series on our new church values. Our values are things that are currently true of our church body and things we want to hold onto as we move forward. This particular story was based on our value of The City: Our identity is deeply rooted in Orlando. Our Christlike leadership in the city matters. We stay and we serve without expectation or condition, because we are part of the social fabric of the city. The film ends with Susu writing out our value and hanging it in our main hallway at the church. That poster, along with the 5 others, are still there on display.
This project really opened my eyes to the hidden homeless communities that dot our city. For 3 days I followed Susu and The Hope Team as they drove around the city, pulled over on the side of the road, and walked just a short distance to reveal large tent villages unseen by the majority living in Orlando. The Hope team focuses on getting identification, medical treatment, and permanent housing for those living in the communities. Some of these trips are dangerous and didn’t permit filming but Susu wasn’t held back by anything to go spread joy and Hope to these people.
This video changed the way I see my city and the way I see the homeless community. I was broken by the things I saw and I was honored to be able to tell Susu’s story.
I encountered a lot of challenges during this project but the main one was working as a solo team. I was writer, director, DP, and editor. I was hard for me to balance the need to capture everything while also respecting some of the sensitive scenes we saw. In the end I am proud of the story I told and thankful for my relationship with some amazing people in our community.