Inspired by true events, this is the story of what really went on at the tough-love reform schools that came to prominence in the 90's.
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Synopsis: Some kids get detention, some kids starve in a steel cage under the hot sun with no water all day.
Marcus was sent to Paradise Bay Reformatory when he was sixteen. Two years have passed and no reform has taken place. He is underfed, overworked, and has experienced the systematic abuse and emotional damage that will affect him and his classmates for the rest of their lives. Marcus has reached his breaking point. Will he reform? Will he make it out with any of his juvenescence intact? Or will the institution and staff crush the last bit of life residing within him?
Background: In the late nineties it became increasingly fashionable for upper middle class parents to send their insubordinate children to private reform schools in remote locations. These ‘tough love’ schools seemed to offer the perfect remedy: strict discipline coupled with a chance for apathetic teens to experience the outdoors and/ or remote locations of a foreign country. It would cure them of their childish and selfish ways. They would be forced to face and modify their behavior. What came to light was something much different. Rampant corruption, physical abuse, and second rate schooling pervaded. The conditions were inhumane. What's worse, residents (we shouldn’t call them students) were only permitted to talk to their parents when staff members were present, so parents couldn’t get an honest assessment of what was really happening. There are also horror stories of parents being intimidated and forced to attend seminars in which they would be told to keep their kid in the program…and keep their money flowing into the wallets of these for-profit institutions.
Director: Lorne Hiltser is an award winning director and producer from Montreal, Canada. A graduate of the American Film Institute Conservatory directing program, his films have been honored by BAFTA, the LA Comedy Shorts Fest, and the Just for Laughs Festival. His Film LE JEU DES SOLDATS was a National Finalist for the Student Academy Award in 2011. Lorne currently lives in Los Angeles and likes to fly through the air on a trapeze. No, not like Superman. More like Spiderman.
Writer: Nate Crocker has been many things: a middle school teacher, an AmeriCorps volunteer, amateur boxer, college swimmer, a lifeguard, unemployed for long stretches of time, and most importantly a screenwriter. Nate grew up in Evanston, Illinois, and graduated from Colorado College with a degree in English. Nate also did a year of service with AmeriCorps in inner city Baltimore. It was the most challenging and rewarding year of his life. After AmeriCorps finished, Nate went onto the American Film Institute and graduated with an MFA in screenwriting. While at AFI, he received the Hewlett Packard Scholarship. Since then his scripts have been named finalists in the Slamdance screenwriting competition and the Gimme Credit Short Screenplay Competition.
Producer: Nathaniel Greene is an alum of the American Film Institute, where he was a producing fellow. He also holds a bachelors degree from Boston College. He's produced online content for Avery-Dennison, music videos, and commercials for Media Arts Lab, Apple's advertising agency. Most recently, he worked on the JLo music video "Follow The Leader" which shot in Acapulco. Before AFI, he photographed and explored such countries as New Zealand, Laos, Vietnam, South Africa, Zimbabwe and Fiji.
As filmmakers, we believe that it is best to examine the micro to shed light on the macro. What better way to tell the story than through the eyes of a teenager who's faced the worst and, ultimately, been failed by the corrupted institution whose sole purpose should have been to help him.
Your Money: We need the help of the Kickstarter community to illuminate the story of the corrupt institutions and affected teens who've survived.
$19,000 may seem like a lot, but in order to pay our crew severely reduced rates, location fees, catering, craft service, wardrobe, camera and lighting rental, special effects, and transportation we need you're help to get us through production. So, join us on this journey. We look forward to your support!
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