Even In Darkness

Every night between 10 PM and 4 AM Reverend Lyle Beckman walks the streets of San Francisco. He's the city's Night Minister, the fourth man to hold the job since 1964. In his encounters with the homeless, addicts, sex workers, and those in need, Beckman seeks to comfort rather than convert. The film is a witness to intimate interactions—and a side of the city—that few people ever see. 'Even In Darkness' explores questions of faith, the necessity of interpersonal contact, and the power of empathy.

The film features cinematography by Vanessa Carr (Heroin: Cape Cod, Warning: This Drug May Kill You, T-Rex). Sound Design is by Dave Nelson (True Conviction, My Best Fiend, Little Dieter Needs to Fly) and an original score by Matthew Atticus Berger (Tales of the Grim Sleeper).

  • James Hosking
    Beautiful By Night
  • Jeremy Lybarger
    Beautiful By Night
  • Vanessa Carr
    Director of Photography
    The Hunting Ground, T-Rex, Heroin Cape Cod
  • Dave Nelson
    Sound Design
    My Best Field, Little Dieter Needs To Fly
  • Project Type:
  • Runtime:
    26 minutes 13 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    November 18, 2016
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - James Hosking

James Hosking is an award-winning photographer and filmmaker based in San Francisco. His work has appeared in Slate, The Washington Post, Mother Jones, The California Sunday Magazine, Huffington Post, Port, The Advocate, Out, Dazed & Confused, SF Weekly, Feature Shoot, CityLab, Paper, and many others.

He developed an ongoing series focusing on performers at Aunt Charlie’s Lounge, a Tenderloin bar that hosts a long-running weekly drag show. In 2014, he made a short film about three of the performers entitled Beautiful By Night. The film was chosen as a staff pick on Vimeo and screened at the Tenderloin Museum, 2015 Boston LGBT Film Festival, Frameline39: San Francisco International LGBTQ Film Festival, 2015 Atlanta DocuFest, and other festivals. It was the recipient of a Platinum Award at the 2015 Spotlight Documentary Awards.

He recently finished work on a film and photo series about San Francisco's Night Ministry entitled Even In Darkness. The project follows their Director, Lyle Beckman, as he provides face-to-face counseling and intervention to people in crisis on the streets. The project is a beneficiary of the 2016 San Francisco Neighborhood Arts Collaborative grant in conjunction with the Tenderloin Museum. The Museum will partner on future public programming for the project. The film is currently under consideration for a festival premiere in 2017.

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Director Statement

With "Even In Darkness," my objective is to present underrepresented stories. By sharing these narratives, I hope to foster dialogue about the challenges confronting many American cities, including homelessness, addiction, and economic injustice.