Entertaining Entertainment and Onion Creek Productions will premiere their new feature “Home Free” as the Closing Night Film at the renowned Dances With Films festival in Los Angeles on July 2 at 7:15 p.m. This world premiere will take place at the iconic TCL Chinese Theatre, and promises to make audiences laugh while surprising them with a different perspective on the nature of homelessness. It’s a social impact story wrapped within a coming-of-age stoner comedy.
To purchase tickets for the Dances With Films premiere, please visit www.danceswithfilms.com/home-free.
Additionally, the film announced its 90s mixtape-inspired soundtrack that was produced by GRAMMY® Award-winning and eight-time GRAMMY®-nominated musician-producer Adrian Quesada (Black Pumas). The soundtrack features original tracks from Adrian Quesada, Mix Master Mike (Beastie Boys), Luscious Jackson, Fatlip and Slimkid3 (The Pharcyde), J Mascis (Dinosaur Jr.), and many more.
“Home Free” is based on the real-life experience of Onion Creek Productions founder and director/producer Aaron Brown and writer/producer Lenny Barszap of Entertaining Entertainment. In 1997, as sophomores at the University of Texas at Austin, Brown and Barszap invited an unhoused philosophy professor to crash on their porch. Twenty-five years later, this became the premise for the film “Home Free.” Brown and Barszap expressed their excitement about the film, stating, “While ‘Home Free’ is an unapologetic stoner comedy, it explores profound themes of friendship, personal growth, and social impact. This film is a Trojan horse that will put a spotlight on the homelessness crisis and organizations like The Other Ones Foundation that are actively transitioning people off the streets and into a stable and supportive community. Their Esperanza Community right here in Austin is a perfect model for what can be done at scale across the country.”
“Home Free” follows a group of misfits who embark on a transformative journey, where the recklessness of youth collides with a profound, new understanding of life. Within a cheap, rundown palace of personal freedom near campus, the roommates feature diverse archetypes of youth: a thoughtful searcher named Owen (played by Ryan Cownie), the confident and caustic Richard (John Karna), the irrepressibly hilarious Jerry (Jashawn Lee), the spirited idealist Sydney (Annie Fox), and the anxious and uncomfortable Clark (Chau Long) who needs his friends to coax him out of his shell.
Between getting stoned, partying (shotgunning Dr. Pepper) and ridiculous philosophizing, the crew of college sophomores inadvertently invite an unhoused former University of Texas at Austin professor (Joe Hart), known as “The Professor,” to crash on their porch during a thunderstorm. Soon the 19 year olds realize that he’s become an unlikely roommate, challenging preconceived societal boundaries, forging unconventional friendships, and putting their ideals to the test. Ultimately, these young adults, free to make their own decisions for the first time in their lives, must discover who they are as individuals.
As mentioned, the “Home Free” soundtrack was produced and composed by GRAMMY Award-winning and eight-time GRAMMY-nominated musician-producer Adrian Quesada. Quesada, who met “Home Free” filmmakers Aaron Brown and Lenny Barszap in college, hung out with the friend group and attended the parties that inspired this film.
“Aaron and Lenny were always just doing fun, crazy stuff and I spent a lot of time at their house,” said Quesada. “Many artists we approached were into the mission of the whole thing. I’ve learned a lot from them (Aaron and Lenny) about how much goes into all of the behind-the-scenes work that’s being done for the homeless population, but it’s also about needing to understand the roots of homelessness. I think some people have a misconception that you either sweep them up or they get a job, but there are deeper issues that need to be addressed. Hopefully what we’re doing brings light to that.”
Their shared history as friends made Quesada a natural choice to produce the soundtrack for “Home Free,” and this collaboration resulted in an incredible array of original songs and scores, with contributions from their musical heroes whom they collectively geeked out over back in the day.
The soundtrack was produced by and featuring Adrian Quesada (Black Pumas) and also features original songs by Mix Master Mike (Beastie Boys), Luscious Jackson, J Mascis (Dinosaur Jr.), Fatlip and Slimkid3 (The Pharcyde), Karl Denson (The Rolling Stones), Benji Hughes, Neal Francis, Ghostland Observatory, Sabrina Ellis (Sweet Spirit), James Petralli (White Denim), Akil the MC (Jurassic 5), Stephanie Hunt (Buffalo Hunt), Skerik (Critters Buggin), Steven Bernstein (The Lounge Lizards), and more. More information to come in regard to the release date of the soundtrack.
In addition to creating “Home Free” as an opportunity to shine a light on homelessness, Brown and Barszap partnered with The Other Ones Foundation (TOOF). As a nonprofit based in Austin, Texas, TOOF is driven by a mission to invite unhoused neighbors into an engaged community and has been offering humanitarian aid, case management, and extremely low-barrier employment opportunities to people experiencing homelessness since 2018. TOOF is currently building a 200+ tiny home community in East Austin for unhoused residents complete with gardens, communal areas, community kitchens, employment programs and medical services. Brown and Barszap commented, “‘Home Free’ is a new model for making movies. Why not have all of the insane effort required to make films also create a tangible impact on people’s lives?” The filmmakers have dedicated at least 10% of the film’s profits to be donated directly to organizations like The Other Ones Foundation and have plans to expand this into a national movement (#homefree).
“Home Free” is directed and produced by Aaron Brown and written and produced by Lenny Barszap. For more information on the film, please visit HERE. For more information on The Other Ones Foundation, please visit www.toofound.org.