We are overjoyed by the reception of The Journey is the Destination! Journey premiered as a gala film in September 2016 at the Toronto International Film Festival for over 2,000 people. The film’s US premiere was at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival in February 2017, screening three times and receiving standing ovations for each showing. Journey will also be traveling to the DC Independent Film Festival, with a private screening at the Canadian Embassy, and an opening night showing in February 2017. The film will then participate in the Garden State Film Festival in March, 2017 and the Manchester Film Festival in April, 2017!
This film is 23 years in the making and we could not be more proud to have Kathy’s original dream become a reality. This would not be possible without the phenomenal group of producers, the incredible director Bronwen Hughes, the cast, crew and everyone who has been part of this journey. The journey continues…
The Journey is the Destination is inspired by the true story of Dan Eldon, a charismatic young activist, artist, photographer and adventurer.
Visually stunning and wildly inspiring, The Journey is the Destination follows a young man’s tumultuous coming of age, his exploration of love and his struggle to create positive change in an increasingly violent and dangerous world. Dan was a unique person who woke up everyday with the drive to make the world a little better before he went to sleep.
Written by Academy Award® Nominee Jan Sardi (Shine, The Notebook) and acclaimed director/writer Bronwen Hughes (Stander, Forces of Nature), and produced by one of the producers of Academy Award® and Golden Globe nominated Hotel Rwanda, Martin Katz and Kweku Mandela (The Bang Bang Club, Madiba) the film stars Ben Schnetzer (Pride, The Book Thief, Warcraft) as Dan; Kelly Macdonald (Anna Karenina, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, No Country for Old Men) and Sam Hazeldine (Resurrection, The Monuments Men, The Raven) as Duff and O’Reilly, the journalists who become Dan’s guides to the world of war correspondence, Ella Purnell (Tarzan, Never Let Me Go, Maleficent), as Dan’s sister Amy and Maria Bello (Prisoners, A History of Violence), as his mother Kathy.
As a young man of American and British parentage growing up in Africa, Dan Eldon always had an instinct for helping others. At the age of 19, aware of the plight of refugees in Malawi, he launched the Student Transport Aid, and he and his friends drove across five African countries to hand-deliver the money they’d raised to a refugee camp in the middle of a war zone. Along the way they witnessed examples of sublime beauty and extreme hardship. The trip changed the lives of everyone involved.
An artist, Dan kept vibrant journals of his photographs and paintings, a witty commentary on the world around him. He attracted friends and girlfriends of every background and nationality, creating a true global village. When he falls in love with a brilliant young Somali-Kenyan woman, he is forced to make choices that he has long resisted.
After graduating from high school, Dan chose to continue to travel, meeting up with a group of young journalists who shared his curiosity about the world around him, but had found a way to live it in a professional capacity. Dan traveled with them into Somalia. He’d found his tribe, he purpose and at the age of 21, he became the youngest photojournalist ever to work for Reuters.
Dan was covering the violent famine in Somalia when, on July 12, US Marines made the fateful mistake of bombing what they mistakenly thought was a council of warlords in Mogadishu. Many innocent lives were lost, and in the ensuing riot, Dan and three other journalists were killed.
The final scene of the film is the charged and emotional Celebration of Life set in the rolling hills of the Great Rift Valley in Kenya.
Dan was a bright light, extinguished at a young age. But thanks to a collection of his journals, The Journey is the Destination: The Journals of Dan Eldon (Chronicle Books), his life has ignited sparks in millions around the world. This film, an exuberant, yet moving tribute to him, will inspire viewers to live more fully, love more – and realize that in giving, they receive, and of course, that the Journey is truly the Destination.
Watch this video made for the 2013 Fourth Estate Summit by Jason Russell and the Invisible Children team. Dan’s life has inspired many to go and do great things and we hope the feature film will inspire so many more.
Video Credits: Jason Russell and Invisible Children