Creative Visions Foundation (CVF) hosted the third annual Turn On L.A. Gala on Thursday evening at Casa Del Mar in Santa Monica. CVF, whose headquarters are located in Malibu, was founded by Kathy Eldon and daughter Amy Eldon Turteltaub in honor of their son and brother, photojournalist Dan Eldon, who was killed in Somalia in 1993 at the age of 22, while covering conflict for Reuters.
Hundreds of guests from around the world joined the party, which featured a cocktail reception, ethnic dinner, an awards ceremony, music and dancing. Robert Kennedy, Jr. spoke before presenting his lifelong friend, Academy Award-winning producer Geralyn Dreyfus, a Dan Eldon Activist Award. Kennedy spoke of her determination and perseverance as a creative activist.
“We had a very special group of honorees this year, including Geralyn Dreyfous, Academy Award-winning producer of social impact films,” CVF Co-founder Kathy said. “Geralyn was the force behind 10 documentary films that were presented at Sundance this year.
“We also honored the parents of James Foley, the young journalist murdered by ISIS in 2014, who have created a foundation to offer hostage support, conflict reporting and youth eduction; and Alejandra Amarillo and Juliana Penaranda-Loftus, producers of ‘Landfill Harmonic’ — a film that is a testament to the transformative power of music and the resilience of the human spirit.”
CVF helps support creative activist filmmakers, artists, photographers and writers in their efforts to tell stories about problems that need to be solved throughout the world. The Dan Eldon Creative Activist Awards honor like-minded people for their work and are presented annually at the Turn On L.A. gala. Past recipients of the award include director of the film “Happy,” Roko Belic, and Director Sanjay Rawal for “Food Chains.”
“Arriving home after two months in South Africa shooting ‘Journey is the Destination’ (a film about the life of Dan Eldon) to see the audience’s embrace of our incredible honorees and entertainers was truly one of the highlights of my life,” Kathy shared.
MC for the evening was Director Jon Turteltaub who had guests laughing throughout the presentations. Festivities included a live auction and surprise guest, singer/songwriter LP, who performed with her band, as well as children from the Landfill Harmonic, a recycled orchestra. Landfill Harmonic performs with instruments made from items found in one of the largest landfills in South America, located in Cateura, Paraguay.
“After months of preparation and agonizing about whether anyone would come, it was a joy to overhear a woman in the bathroom say that she ‘attends hundreds of these events, but this one was the best!’” Amy shared.