• DAN ELDON
  • THE JOURNEY IS THE DESTINATION

    The Journey is the Destination is inspired by the true story of Dan Eldon, a charismatic young activist, artist, photographer and adventurer. By the age of 22, Dan had traveled to 46 countries, created a series of fine art journals that would become international best sellers, worked in refugee camps, opened a business, became the youngest staff photojournalist at Reuters, fallen in love and accumulated more life experience than most in a lifetime.

    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 every day 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 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, his purpose and at the age of 21, he became the youngest photojournalist ever to work for Reuters.

    Dan was covering the violent famine in Somaila 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.

    ABOUT DAN ELDON

    Dan Eldon was born in London on September 18, 1970. When Dan was seven years old, he and his three-year-old sister Amy moved to Nairobi, Kenya with their parents, Kathy and Mike Eldon. In Kenya, Dan attended a British school, but then convinced his parents to transfer him to the International School of Kenya, attended by students representing 42 nationalities.

    In 1982, Dan narrowly missed being caught up in the coup in Kenya, but he was around to experience the aftermath of that political upheaval. Early on, he joined his journalist mother on her assignments, and soon was taking pictures, which were used in the local newspapers.

    Dan started helping others from a young age. When he was 14, he started a fundraising campaign for open-heart surgery to save the life of a young Kenyan girl.

    Dan graduated from the International School of Kenya in 1988, winning the International Relations and Community Service awards, as well as being voted most outstanding student by his classmates. He addressed his class, emphasizing the importance of crossing cultural barriers and caring for others.

    Throughout his life, Dan was fortunate in being able to travel extensively, and had visited 46 countries by the time of his death.

    A few years later, Dan organized Student Transport Aid with friends, who raised $17,000 to benefit survivors of the civil war in Malawi. The friends, representing six countries, met in Nairobi and traveled thousands of miles together in three vehicles to their destination, a refugee camp in Malawi. There, they donated one of their vehicles to the Save the Children Fund, as well as money for three wells, and blankets for a children's hospital.

    During the summer of 1992, the famine in Somalia was raging. Dan flew from Kenya to the southern Somali town of Baidoa, where he shot some of the first pictures to touch the conscience of millions. The international news agency, Reuters, spotted his work, and by Christmas, Dan was working for the company, shooting the increasingly desperate situation.

    Throughout the spring of 1993, Dan stayed in Mogadishu, both horrified and fascinated by the violence and tragedy he recorded. During this time, Dan's pictures were featured in newspapers and magazines around the world. On June 12, 1993, his photo made a double-page spread in Newsweek magazine, as well as the covers on papers everywhere. At 22, Dan Eldon’s safari came to a sudden end. However, he left behind seventeen black-bound journals filled with drawings, writings and photographs…vivid collages that chronicle a child’s journey into manhood and a lifelong struggle with the forces of good and evil.

    While Dan’s photos are works of journalism, his journals are works of art…a celebration of adventure and a testament of desire to live life to its fullest. Now, through his art, this film, sense of adventure and creative activism, his journey continues.

    FILM OUTLINE

    Born in London to an American mother and British father, Dan grew up in Nairobi, Kenya, studying with a global tribe from 42 nationalities at an international school. After graduation he wrangles a group of friends to help him deliver essential supplies to Mozambican refugees in his beat-up Land Rover named Deziree. This unlikely safari becomes a rollicking adventure.

    As the group first raises funds for the trip - and then embarks on their adventure, Dan’s lust for life becomes apparent. He is defined by his passion and drive, and his desire to help others help themselves. As the teens make their way across Africa, they taste unusual cuisines, make friends with wild elephants—and they dance their hearts out in sleazy nightclubs along the way. They also discover more than they bargained for as they negotiate impossible roads with useless maps traveling in a broken-down vehicle in a war zone. It’s there that they discover hard truths about life and war.

    After they finally arrive at the refugee camp, their lives are changed forever when they discover that those they are trying to save have much to teach them.

    When the rest of the students head back to their respective lives, Dan decides to keep traveling. In South Africa, he finds himself in a frenzied crowd of anti-apartheid protestors. There he meets two photojournalists, the resilient American Duff, and O’Reilly, a veteran Irishman, who has clearly seen far too much. Together with Duff, O’Reilly and a few other journalists, including Shaffi, Dan takes his first trip into Somalia, where he witnesses the tragic human cost of a terrible famine. Forced to bear witness to unspeakable horrors, Dan learns on the job – picking up cues from experienced journalists as the country descends into a violent civil war. Despite the growing danger, Dan stays in Somalia, hoping that his photos can help awaken the world to the desperate situation that is threatening millions. However, Dan is jubilant to learn that his photos have been included in many international publications—which lands him an assignment for Reuters.

    Dan begins to deal with the emotional turmoil that he is experiencing as he tries to stay detached from the brutality he witnesses. He misses his sister, Amy, his mother, Kathy and his most of all, his girlfriend, Saba, the effervescent and smart daughter of a Kenyan magnate, whom Dan has encouraged to follow her dreams, despite the autocratic wishes of her family.

    On July 12th, 1993, Dan is in his room, packing to leave for good, but he is interrupted by a desperate plea from survivors of a terrible bombing by US forces trying to kill the warlord, Mohamed Aideed, the man responsible for the civil war in Somalia.

    A villa believed to be Aideed’s headquarters is destroyed, leaving several hundred people wounded or killed. Unfortunately, it missed Aideed and hit a gathering of respected Somali community members and civilians, including imams and elders, who were discussing how to find peace and rebuild their country.

    Accompanied by Somali militia, Dan and four colleagues arrive at the Villa to document the carnage resulting from the military attack to confront a milling crowd. Angered by what had happened, the crowd turns on the journalists. After the mob has dissipated, only Shaffi remains to tell the story of what happened.

    Dan’s friends and family say their goodbyes at a moving Celebration of Life for a young man whose life ended too soon. As they light torches to celebrate the sparks Dan lit in others, they ignite the spirit of creative activism that Dan exemplified.

  • THE JOURNEY IS THE DESTINATION

    The Journey is the Destination is inspired by the true story of Dan Eldon, a charismatic young activist, artist, photographer and adventurer. By the age of 22, Dan had traveled to 46 countries, created a series of fine art journals that would become international best sellers, worked in refugee camps, opened a business, became the youngest staff photojournalist at Reuters, fallen in love and accumulated more life experience than most in a lifetime.

    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 every day 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.

  • Contact Author

EMBED THIS IMAGE PLAYER
Copy this code to your website or blog.

By using the above code and embedding this image player you consent to Showbizzee Terms of use

CONTACT US