In the evening of Tuesday, September 8, 2020, a fast moving wildfire swept through the town of Phoenix, Oregon burning hundreds of homes and businesses, leaving almost the entire town flattened.
This is an especially monumental blow to the filmmaking team behind the 2020 theatrically-released comedy “Phoenix, Oregon”. Not only is the film named after the town, but several crew and family members of the producers lost homes.
Producer, Luis Rodriguez, who lives in Phoenix, Oregon saw family and friends lose everything and is still himself evacuated.
“It happened fast,” remembers Rodriguez. “I rushed to my mom’s house to help her evacuate, confused and unaware that we were leaving behind a home she’d never see again. Thousands were completely blindsided this way, losing it all from one moment to the next. It’s extremely heartbreaking to see the devastation left behind, and without the extra support from near and far, many families will have an extremely difficult time recovering unless we rally behind them.”
The filmmaking team is raising funds to rebuild Phoenix, Oregon and the surrounding community. Funds will specifically be used to help at risk and vulnerable families, especially in the Latino community. Many of these hard-working families lived in mobile home parks which were completely destroyed and rarely covered by insurance. They have nowhere to go.
Housing in the Phoenix area was already dire, and many families evacuated to temporary shelters or are living out of cars in parking lots, figuring out how to stay safe, get back to work and feed small children. Many have no work to go back to as businesses, livelihoods, tools, trucks, restaurants, banks, furniture stores and shopping centers were burned to the ground as well as their homes. It is believed that fifty percent of the Phoenix/Talent School District children lost their houses.
“Phoenix, Oregon” writer/director, Gary Lundgren, wrote the film as a love letter to the Latino community and family culture, with the story being influenced by his friendship with Rodriguez. “I wanted to reflect the warmth and unconditional acceptance with which Luis’s family has welcomed and supported me over the years,” says Lundgren. “It is heartbreaking to see the devastation our neighbors are experiencing from these fires, and we want to do everything we can to help them get back on their feet.”
The “Phoenix, Oregon” movie team will be focused over the coming months on helping these families find housing, establish stability, and get their kids back in school and connected online (for distance learning.)
Every bit of your support helps.
There are two ways to give:
- WATCH Phoenix, Oregon Movie at the website (https://phoenixoregonmovie.com), and 100% of proceeds will be distributed in cash and gift cards to families with urgent needs.
- DONATE to the Phoenix Oregon Movie / United Way Fire Relief Fund: https://phoenixoregonmovie.com/firefund. Donations are tax deductible. While there are many great non-profit organizations doing the urgent work to meet immediate needs, the producers have partnered with the United Way of Jackson County to address the mid- to long-term recovery and rebuilding of the most vulnerable communities in Jackson County. The producers have direct experience with this on-the-ground team and have the utmost confidence that these funds will be directed to those most in need.
“Phoenix, Oregon” is a funny and bittersweet comedy about two friends, a graphic novelist and a chef, who seize an unlikely opportunity to reinvent their lives, quitting their service industry jobs to restore an old bowling alley and serve the “world’s greatest pizza.” The cast includes James Le Gros (Amazon Prime’s ‘Hunters’), Jesse Borrego (Fox’s ’24’), Lisa Edelstein (Netflix’s ‘The Kominsky Method’), Reynaldo Gallegos (Triple Frontier), Diedrich Bader (ABC’s ‘American Housewife’) and Kevin Corrigan (Showtime’s ‘Ray Donovan’). Phoenix, Oregon is being released by Aspiration Entertainment in association with Ryan Bruce Levey Film Distribution and was produced by Joma Films with Pied Piper Productions, Lui-G Films, and Sunset Dynamics.
Phoenix Oregon Movie / United Way Fire Relief Fund: https://phoenixoregonmovie.com/firefund
Phoenix, Oregon Movie Website: https://phoenixoregonmovie.com
Phoenix, Oregon Wildfire Photos: https://phoenixoregonmovie.com/firephotos
For more information, or to schedule an interview with film producer, Luis Rodriguez, contact Allen Media Strategies Burke Allen at (703) 589-8960 or [email protected].