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Today, Father Joe’s Villages debuted Shine – an animated short film about the journey to overcome homelessness. In partnership with San Diego integrated marketing agency i.d.e.a. and Golden Globe-nominated animation studio Reel FX, the homeless services provider’s film tells a story of hope intended to shift public perceptions of homelessness and inspire action.

To view and share the film, please click here.

“San Diego is in the midst of a homelessness crisis, and to many in our community, it appears that the end of homelessness is out of reach. At Father Joe’s Villages, we see the future differently,” says Deacon Jim Vargas, president and CEO of Father Joe’s Villages. “It’s our hope that viewers will see what we see every day: that a bright future is possible for everyone given the right services and support.”

The animated film takes place in a world of minerals and gems. It portrays Nicoal, a lump of coal ignored by the others and left alone in the cold and rain. Just when all hope seems lost, compassionate neighbors from Father Joe’s Villages welcome and embrace Nicoal compressing her with their respect and kindness. With this support from Father Joe’s Villages, Nicoal transforms into her true self – a brilliant diamond.

The homeless services provider brought the film to life with the resources and creative vision of i.d.e.a, a San Diego-based integrated marketing agency. i.d.e.a. conceptualized and coordinated the production of Shine with the creative geniuses at Dallas-based animation studio Reel FX, whose projects include Golden Globe-nominated The Book of Life, and short films, immersive rides and commercials for Despicable Me and Ice Age, to name a few.

“I wanted to direct the short story because it’s so meaningful,” says Barrett Lewis, creative director at ReelFX. “I think all creative people hope that their work can contribute to something that makes a difference in the world and crafting a unique and heartfelt narrative about how Father Joe’s Villages helps solve homelessness was that project for me.”

The film Shine is a signature element of a larger ongoing initiative, “We See.” In partnership with i.d.e.a., Father Joe’s Villages is leading this campaign to reshape how San Diegans perceive homelessness.

i.d.e.a.’s chief relationships officer, Jon Bailey continued, “Like most people, we are deeply troubled by the rising homeless issues in San Diego and across the U.S. When we were introduced to the team at Father Joe’s Villages and learned about their incredible mission and vision, we felt an instant emotional connection and desire to help them tell their story as widely as possible. As a B Corporation, it’s in our corporate DNA to help our community and its residents, and we are truly honored to provide our talents to a project with such heart and positive outcomes.”

According to Father Joe’s Villages, the film will bring a new kind of attention to San Diego’s homelessness crisis, helping people to see the issue of homelessness in a new light. To organize a film viewing with your community group, please contact To view the film, click here. To make a donation and help people find the potential within, click here.



As one of San Diego’s largest homeless services providers, Father Joe’s Villages has been empowering people to achieve self-sufficiency for 67 years. What started as a small chapel serving San Diego’s impoverished has grown into a cutting-edge provider of effective housing programs and services. Father Joe’s Villages provides housing for nearly 1,900 each night and prepares up to 3,000 meals every day—from infants and adolescents to adults and seniors. This includes more than 200 children and over 200 military veterans. As an industry thought-leader, Father Joe’s Villages offers solutions to address the complex needs of people who are homeless, regardless of age, race, culture or beliefs. The organization’s primary goal is to transform lives and end homelessness in San Diego County. To this end they provide housing, healthcare, food, clothing, education, job training and therapeutic childcare in an internationally modeled “one-stop-shop” approach. This mission is made possible only through the efforts of compassionate staff, dedicated volunteers, and generous public and private donors. For more information, please visit:

i.d.e.a. is an award-winning integrated marketing company and Certified B Corporation that moves people, products and culture through its nine core disciplines: strategy, creative, design, reputation, social media, digital, brand management, media and brand purpose. i.d.e.a. has sought out courageous clients who trust in its ability to deliver exceptional results year after year. The company has worked with large local, regional, and national brands, and these innovative campaigns continue to be nationally recognized and awarded with top honors at the industry’s leading award ceremonies. i.d.e.a. is located at 444 W. Beech Street in downtown San Diego, CA. For more information, visit, like i.d.e.a. on Facebook, and follow along on Instagram and Twitter.

Reel FX develops and produces award-winning animated films, virtual reality experiences, mobile/interactive content, live-venue projects, and commercials. Based out of Dallas, Texas and Santa Monica, California, the company has 23 years of experience working with studio partners like Fox, Warner Bros., DreamWorks Animation and Universal Studios as well as national advertising agencies and global brands. Reel FX Animation Studios’ slate includes the Golden Globe–nominated The Book of Life with 20th Century Fox and Free Birds with Relativity Media. Reel FX Commercial, the studio’s turn-key short-form division, crafts a variety of broadcast and digital content, music videos and themed attractions. The company has developed a wide range of world-class VR interactive experiences and 360ş narrative content for innovative brands, such as 20th Century Fox, Acura, American Express, AT&T, GE, GMC, Lionsgate, Porsche, Samsung, and the U.S. Air Force, etc. and for all leading VR headset platforms including Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, Samsung Gear VR and Google Cardboard. In 2017, Reel FX launched a new division, “Flight School,” with Academy and Emmy Award-winning creative leadership and the fundamental mission of telling great stories in VR and across emerging tech platforms.