‘The Promised Land” – A Film by Kevin P Miller (1991)

‘It is one of my earliest films, yet ‘The Promised Land’ remains among my most beloved. This documentary, initially created in about five weeks’ time for a local ABC-TV affiliate, won a slew of regional Emmys™, was nominated for a national Emmy award, and captured a Bronze Medal in the category of “International TV Programming” from the N.Y. International Film & Television Festival in 1992.

When it aired, ‘The Promised Land’ was the highest-ranked TV program in prime time, but most importantly, it raised nearly $500,000 in donations after its first showing – and just under $1,000,000 total. The donations went directly to transitional housing, veterans groups, Foodbanks and job training for the poor and homeless.

I was paid $900 for the privilege of producing this heartfelt film, but even in 1991, I realized how fortunate I was to have been chosen. I recall being given hundreds of letters from real viewers who scribbled notes on hotel memo pads and notebook paper and sent them in with their contributions.

Reading those letters – between sobs – was life-changing.

There was a businessman from Chicago who wrote from the Holiday Inn in downtown Cleveland, an elderly woman on a fixed income who sent a tattered $5 bill with the note “I wish I could do more,” and six poor families from the East side of Cleveland who pooled their money and contributed $100 because “there but for the Grace of God go I.”

I still get chills when I think of that one.

So you see, twenty years later, this film still touches me. I pray it will have a similar effect on you… and that you might be motivated to help the poor and the veterans in your community.

Kevin P. Miller, January 2011′