WHAT’S THE STORY?
The Tenderloin has long been known as the "heart" of San Francisco. It is the last refuge for elderly, disabled and low-income working people striving to stay in the city.
This area is perhaps the
last frontier in SF's ever-expanding gentrification trend. It has a high
density population and has prominent issues with drugs.
Tenderloin neighborhood can be a difficult place in which to live. Almost a
quarter of the neighborhood’s residents live below the poverty level. It can be
painful to look at how hard life is for some people. We think of that existing
in some far-off country or continent, but it’s in our own backyard, right in
downtown San Francisco.
At the same time, we’re
talking to people about how much love there is among the residents of this
neighborhood and the people who work there in order to improve the life of the
Love Me Tenderloin shows the everyday life of four inhabitants living in the Tenderloin: Bridchette, Arnold, Woody and Indian Joe.
A typical sequence will
illustrate each interviewee as he/she goes about a typical day.
WHY AM I MAKING THIS
In this documentary I
wish to dispel the typical stereotypes people have of homeless people and of
the Tenderloin. The homeless become that way for a variety of reasons, just as
they come from a variety of backgrounds and situations.
I would like this film to be part of a process of replacing that alienation and blame with humaneness and connectivity.
When I arrived in San
Francisco in early April, 2013, the first question that I asked people was:
“Where should I live in the city?” And everyone around me had the same answer:
“Don’t go to the Tenderloin” or “Avoid the Tenderloin”. These answers intrigued
me so I decided to spend time in the Tenderloin in order to form my own opinion
about this neighborhood.
And the more time I
spent in the Tenderloin, the more fascinated I became with the people of this
Most of the people in San Francisco only know what they see on the news: violence, drugs, and poverty. But, there is much more to see in this community— stories that the larger population never sees or hears about. You realize there’s little to be afraid of and a lot more to understand.
Through this documentary
film, I want to open people's eyes about life in the Tenderloin. I also want to
raise awareness about homelessness in San Francisco in order to make people
more compassionate towards this community.
I want to praise the
Tenderloin’s hopeful side, where both unofficial and official organizations are
providing a number of life-saving services to the city’s downtrodden.
WHY IS IT IMPORTANT?
Nowadays, it is quite usual to hear people criticize the homeless and very-low income people.
I believe this attitude
should change, and do hope that through Love
Me Tenderloin, the general public will perhaps be more compassionate
towards people in need.
Moreover, this documentary film will show that even if the Tenderloin is often linked to issues related to homelessness and the drug trade, it is also a vibrant neighborhood where people are trying to get by and live daily.
WHO I AM:
I'm Henri Quenette, a 27-year old French documentary filmmaker.
After obtaining a Master of Films at university Paris III- La Sorbonne in 2011, I specialised in documentary films and co-directed the documentary film A Tiny Drop of Change in 2012 (selected at Ekotop Film Festival (Slovaquia) 2013, Brest Film Festival (France) 2013 and Cinespacio Film festival (Colombia) in 2013.)
I have been living in San Francisco since April, 2013 and I started working on Love Me Tenderloin in May, 2013.
WHY DO I NEED YOUR HELP:
As an independant documentary filmmaker, I started to work on Love Me Tenderloin without a crew nor financial support. In June, I decided to quit my job in order to focus on this documentary film.
Today, I need your help and your support in order to continue the shooting of the documentary and help for the post-production of Love Me Tenderloin.
Thank you in advance for your participation! And do feel free to share this project with those around you having the same concerns.Henri Quenette