DIRECTOR – Thomas Q. Napper



Director Thomas Napper has grown to know many residents of Skid Row through his work on the feature film THE SOLOIST. Not only were hundreds of homeless people cast as extras for the film, many found work in supporting roles and in production. Several members of LAMP, told their stories in a drama workshop and it was these ‘stories of the streets’ that were the direct inspiration for LOST ANGELS. It was their unbridled honesty combined with their resilience and humor that led Thomas to explore why exactly Skid Row was their Home. Thomas realized that Skid Row was a community, and a community under siege. All the interviewees wanted to talk about 'Safer Cities', and the over-policing of the 50 blocks that they call home. Using found footage the film explores the impact of Chief Bratten’s zero tolerance approach to poverty and homelessness.

The documentary chronicles the journey of the people who live and survive in this unique community and lets them speak for themselves. LOST ANGELS is a film that really allows the community of Skid Row to tell their own stories in their own words. By focusing on the individuals who have found hope, redemption, and a sense of belonging in a place most would never willingly enter. LOST ANGELS illuminates the grave crisis in the U.S. surrounding our treatment of the mentally ill. In making the film, Thomas set out to show the poetic in the person with schizophrenia and the wisdom in the heart of a person trying to break a crack addiction. Venturing inside the heads and lives of these characters, and in so doing breaking down some prejudice and cast some light on the darkest streets of Los Angeles.

Thomas has established a reputation as a natural director of beautifully stylish and evocative imagery from his work as a commercial director through H.S.I, his recent work includes campaigns for BT & SKY ATLANTIC. His work displays an instinctive feel for mood and atmosphere. He has worked with his friend Joe Wright as 2nd Unit director on four films: the award winning ATONEMENT, PRIDE & PREJUDICE, THE SOLOIST and ANNA KARENINA. Thomas has also collaborated with Joe on three films for Chanel, two for Coco Mademoiselle with Keira Knightly and recently Chanel No.5 with Brad Pitt.

Thomas was one of the founders of THE LOMOGRAPHIC SOCIETY in LONDON. Working with the designer Fabian Monheim together they staged many exhibitions in some of the most famous museums and galleries in London, Vienna, New York & Tokyo. As a creative team they wrote & designed books and generally forced people to take pictures without looking. Their seminal book “DON’T THINK, JUST SHOOT” is a practical & joyous guide to modern street photography.

Thomas worked for several years as a Music Video Director through THE OIL FACTORY in London, picking up awards for his work with GOTAN PROJECT, MANIC STREET PREACHERS & ROBBIE WILLIAMS. He is a graduate of St Martin’s School of Art, and the Ecole Nationale des Arts Decoratif in Paris. He lives in London and is a very keen gardener.

The People

...puts a human face on these so readily dismissed individuals that inhabit the Skid Row area...

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The Film

Although its stated purpose is to reduce crime in the area, for many the program is nothing more than officially sanctioned class warfare.

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The Filmmakers

Sometimes you just know when something's not right. You see it, or hear it, and you know instinctively there's something missing.

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LOST ANGELS - skid row is my home

Partners









"Humanistic portrait of Los Angeles' Skid Row"

Narrated by Catherine Keener, LOST ANGELS: SKID ROW IS MY HOME takes an uncompromising yet life-affirming look at the lives of eight remarkable individuals--people who have found a way to make a life for themselves within the community of homelessness. The film shows how their descent into society’s basement has been exacerbated by the forces of gentrification and the increasing criminalization of homeless people, while exposing the draconian changes to the mental health care system that have brought us here.

With the support of a vast array of advocates, especially the services of Lamp Community, the mission featured in the Jamie Foxx/ Robert Downey Jr. film, THE SOLOIST, many residents of Skid Row have found a way to stick together and fight back.

Directed by Thomas Napper, LOST ANGELS demonstrates how proactive approaches to homelessness–most specifically that of providing housing–are helping many to recover from mental illness and substance abuse and to find stability. For many, Skid Row is, perhaps improbably, the last place to find refuge and build a life of meaning…proving that sometimes home is where the help is.

Coming soon to select theaters.

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Reviews

“Lost Angels' Film Puts Human Faces On Homeless Crisis In Los Angeles”
"LOST ANGELS: The true story behind The Soloist hits the big screen"
'Lost Angels' "Finds Struggle and Grace Among Skid Row’s Homeless"
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