May 9, 2017 BestCompaniesAZ

Lights, Camera, Action — Homeless to Homeowner — Wins Hearts, Minds at Phoenix Film Festival

Phoenix, AZ — May 9, 2017 – It’s reward enough to have local filmmakers find a story so compelling they want to make a movie about it.  What’s icing on the cake is having a movie created by local filmmakers that was so outstanding, it was nominated for an award at this year’s Phoenix Film Festival.

Here’s the full story:

Habitat for Humanity of Central Arizona, Phoenix Film Festival

Pictured left to right: Kori Gerstner, Kahlyn Gerstner, Maribel Saucedo, Syri Gerstner, Debra Bradley, Dusty Parsons, James Bustamante

Homeless to Homeowner debuted before a packed house last month at Harkins Cine Capri Theatre during the nationally recognized Phoenix Film Festival, which has entries from all over the world.  The 10-minute documentary captures the story of an Arizona family who fell on hard times shortly after moving to Arizona, faced eviction and ended up homeless. Their journey is documented as they realize the dream of home ownership by saving money and partnering with Habitat for Humanity Central Arizona (Habitat).

The documentary was created by a talented team from Salt River Project, which also donated the resources to produce it.  Director James Bustamante and Habitat’s Marketing & Communications Director Dusty Parsons spent three months creating the inspirational film about the trials and tribulations the Gerstner family overcame as they transitioned from homelessness into their dream home.  After several airings at events around town, the film was entered in the Phoenix Film Festival where it won a nomination for Best Arizona Short Film.

Jason Barlow, Habitat President & CEO, stated, “We heartily thank SRP and the Gerstner family for creating this outstanding project in conjunction with Habitat’s own Dusty Parsons, who engineered an innovative way to share the Gerstner’s heartwarming journey with our community. Because of this team’s dedication, an audience who might not otherwise be aware of what Habitat does, is now being introduced to our mission and how we help families in a whole new way.”

About Habitat for Humanity Central Arizona

Habitat for Humanity Central Arizona (Habitat) is a local affiliate of Habitat for Humanity International, the renowned humanitarian organization based in Atlanta. Each affiliate operates as a separate 501c3 nonprofit, and is responsible for leading its own fundraising and operations management, while adhering to the Habitat for Humanity mission of serving communities within its area. . Habitat also promotes volunteer programs with corporations, groups, churches and individuals. Their services include new home construction, re-constructions, renovations, repairs (even emergency repairs) and most recently, entire neighborhood revitalization projects.  Consistently ranked among the Top 10 of 1,400 affiliates nationally, Habitat has built more than 1,100 homes in the metro Phoenix area. To learn more, please visit, or find us on Twitter @habitatcaz.




Media Contact:
Dusty Parsons
Habitat for Humanity Central Arizona