“StreetWise, the Movie,” a poignant documentary produced and directed by Rob Federighi about the local organization that helps the homeless, is paying off for the 300 vendors who sell StreetWise newspapers on street corners.
Vendors have sold some 5,000 DVDs of the doc since its Park West premiere last December, and 2,000 new copies are on order.
The hourlong doc has helped raise awareness about StreetWise, “and more importantly,” says Federighi, “showcase the personality and goals of the StreetWise vendors.”
Vendors sell the DVDs on the street for $5. They pay $2 for each disk and keep the profit from the sale.
The doc follows several StreetWise vendors through their daily lives. “We took a proactive role in helping them achieve the goals they set for themselves, like the one who got a G.E.D, and another, a recovering addict, who went to truck driver’s school and just got his license,” said Federighi, who returned from a three-year stint in L.A. in 2006.
Started in 1992, “StreetWise” has a circulation of roughly 20,000 a week. Its content covers a wide range of social issues, community and theatre group news, mostly written by the editor, and vendor-written poetry, columns and articles.
Vendors, who are homeless or at risk of homelessness, buy the paper for 35 cents each and sell it at $1. The money they accumulate each day enables them to pay for a place to sleep and something to eat.
Ch. 11 aired “Streetwise, the Movie” last January and this spring it won a Silver Telly for best TV documentary.
Federighi says he will start entering the hourlong doc in festivals, something he’s not had the time yet to do.
At the moment he is putting the finishing touches on a timely travel TV show called “Radius6,” featuring destinations reachable in a six hour drive from Chicago.
Hosted by Grace and Rob Federighi, the pilot was filmed in scenic Minocqua, Wisconsin a few months ago. It will air on Comcast and is being pitched to other regional outlets.
Federighi also operates a thriving commercial real estate business, with a specialty of helping filmmakers find suitable business properties for purchase or rental.
Federighi’s phone number is 323/219-8444. See