This legal drama, starring Matthew Modine (Stranger Things), Shane
Paul McGhie (After We Collided) and Academy, Oscar and Golden
Globe winner Louis Gossett Jr., activates reform against corruption in
deeply emotive plot follows the trial of a for-profit Foster care agency,
who puts a known sex offender into the same foster home as a lawyer's young
client, Jamal, with catastrophic results. Each man heals the other in the
pursuit of justice, as they expose the horrifying corrupt agency.
A firm festival favourite, Foster Boy has won 17 major awards at
the International Black Film Festival, Sedona Film Festival, Pan African
Film Festival, Woodstock Film Festival, and the Dallas Film Festival. It
has received honours including Best Picture, Best Full Length Picture, and
Best of the Fest.
The film is based on writer Jay Paul Deratany's experiences as a trial
lawyer fighting for child welfare in Chicago.
Ex Prod O'Neal says,
"A lot of what you see in that film, actually happened in the court
room and Shane shows us the trauma and crushing emotional baggage
foster kids carry for the rest of their lives."
is produced by Peter Samuelson; founder of
, a charity that gives academic support to young adults in the care system
aiming at higher education or their first job. Lead Shane Paul McGhie
maintains that getting to know kids from First Star, who bravely shared
their experiences of Foster Care, was the driving force behind his moving
portrayal of Jamal. He says,
"They anonymously wrote me some letters, which I stuck up on my trailer
mirror to remind me every day. If I was approaching a challenging scene
I would look up at the letters and get that knowing that this was
bigger than me and that I was doing it for them."
The sheer volume of children in care who lack equal opportunity is not just
an American problem. During Covid-19, numbers of children and Young People
going into care Increased by 44% (Bernados, 2020). Almost half these
children in care have a diagnosable mental health disorder as a result of
childhood trauma (First Star). Foster Boy invites the viewer to
walk in the shoes of Jamal to understand the urgency for change.