River Man

Los Angeles, California | Film Short


Laura Beckner

1 Campaigns | California, United States

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This campaign raised $16,327 for post-production. Follow the filmmaker to receive future updates on this project.

65 supporters | followers

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Winner of the Women in Film Production Program Grant, RIVER MAN imagines a man's first night of homelessness in a film about shelter, kindness, and the stories we tell ourselves to survive.

About The Project

  • The Story
  • Wishlist
  • Updates
  • The Team
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Mission Statement

I am an artist and filmmaker who weaves the personal and the poetic into cinema. This Women in Film-sponsored narrative short film has a diverse, international team helmed by female filmmakers; together we will realize the story of RIVER MAN with a unique and sensitive lens.

The Story


When Omar, an elderly veteran, is evicted from his apartment, he drives around Los Angeles at night searching for a place to sleep. Reagan, a woman cleaning an office building, sees him sleeping on the street. She lets him rest inside for a few hours while she works.

Slowly, the two strangers open up to each other, sharing a brief connection before the sun comes up.



When I was in my twenties, I was working as an assistant at the Cannes Film Festival. I would sneak down to my hotel's tiny breakfast room as early as possible before the bustle of the day. It was there that I met a smiling, portly older man named Omar. It was love at first sight - exactly what kind of love I couldn't tell you. 

Omar and I have been friends for fifteen years now. I've learned about his hardships, his remarkable luck, his obsession with all forms of love, his search for enlightenment, his king-like airs, his sailor's mouth, his ego, his patience, his pride, his laugh - they all make up an exquisitely aged human. He has been one of my greatest teachers and supporters. And a few years ago, I discovered Omar was homeless.

Together we navigated the world of shelters, government benefits, waiting lines, Social Security offices, hospitals, and tent cities. I was so moved by the help and kindness other people gave him - angels, he called them - who helped get him back on his feet. I marvelled even more at Omar's tremendous strength and gratitude, even when he was at his lowest. Somehow, despite every obstacle, he insisted that being homeless was the first time in his life he ever felt truly free. 

From 2019 to 2022, homelessness in Los Angeles rose 7%. Today, nearly 117,000 people are living without a feasible shelter. We have a long way to go before solving this. Our hope is that this film, in some small way, can shine a spotlight on this crisis. 

With Omar as my muse, our LA story is the inspiration for RIVER MAN.

- Laura Beckner


At times RIVER MAN will feel real while other scenes are like a late-night dream. The film expolores an encounter between a man and a woman that doesn't fall into an obvious category. The two main characters reveal their vulnerability but refuse to be victims of their circumstances. 

Beautifully photographed with the ARRI Alexa Mini LF and Canon FD lenses, it was important to paint Omar's world not only with a grim and gritty view of homelessness. Instead, the goal was to see this night through his eyes - present from moment to moment. If you knew the real Omar, you would understand. ;)


I received a $20,000 Women in Film production program grant to make RIVER MAN. With additional in-kind sponsorships and grants from ARRI, Cinelease, FilmLA, and more, we completed filming in 2022.

We are now looking to match WIF's initial grant by raising an additional $20,000 for post-production, distribution, and marketing to finish the film.


  • Reach as wide an audience as possible with an impactful, artistic, and unique short film
  • Honor the real Omar's journey 
  • Raise awareness about homelessness
  • Have the film screen at major festivals like Sundance, Tribeca, Cannes, Palm Springs & more
  • Celebrate the hard work of our cast, crew, donors, and partners by securing distribution 
  • Develop RIVER MAN into a feature film


Dear Friends,

So many talented filmmakers, artists, friends, and contributors came together to take RIVER MAN from the page to a realized film.

But we need YOUR HELP to get us across the finish line! Every donation, large and small, will go a long way. Join us on our journey.

From the bottom of our hearts, we appreciate your time and consideration.

- The RIVER MAN Team


In addition to generous acts of monetary kindness, please share our campaign and follow RIVER MAN online.

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Thank you!



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Production Costs

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