EXCLUSIVE: Gravitas Ventures is adding to its growing acquisition slate with the lastest pick-up, Foster Boy, a courtroom drama starring Matthew Modine, Oscar winner Louis Gossett Jr., Julie Benz, and Shane Paul McGhie. Gravitas has the North American distribution rights and is planning a theatrical and on-demand release on September 25.
Brenda Bakke, Amy Brenneman, Michael Beach, and Greg Germann also star in the film, which has played at a number of festivals including the International Black Film Festival, Pan African Film Festival, and Woodstock Film Festival.
Directed Youssef Delara, the pic follows Michael Trainer, a hardened corporate lawyer unwittingly dragged into an ominous trial in which a for-profit foster care agency put a known sex offender into the same foster home as his young client Jamal, resulting in catastrophic trauma and immediately altering Jamal’s future. He wants nothing to do with Jamal’s case until a Judge forces him to represent him.
When Jamal refuses to settle the case for any amount of money, Michael begins his representation in earnest and forges a strong bond with the young man. Their work together reveals the horrifying depth of the corrupt and abusive for-profit foster care agency, as well as its blatantly racist and classist exploitations of the system, Michael is transformed from reluctant defender to fierce warrior in the battle for justice.
Jay Paul Deratany wrote the script and produced the pic with Andrew Sugerman, Peter Samuelson, and Anne Marie MacKay, while Shaquille O’Neal served as executive producer.
“On behalf of Shaquille O’Neal, and the entire dedicated team behind Foster Boy, we are so thrilled to be working with Gravitas. This film is meant to touch people, give them hope, shake them to their core, and inspire them to get up and fight for foster kids, who have no voice. We know this story and the way it has been brought to life on screen will have a profound positive impact on children’s rights and foster care for decades to come,” said Deratany.
Gravitas Acquisitions Manager, Nick Royak negotiated the deal with Deratany and Mark Padilla of Double Dutch International.
Said Royak, “Compelling, relevant, engaging. Foster Boy is a film that will demand attention and tells it like it is. It has a loud and clear voice reminding us that foster children deserve a safe and bright future, and are not a commodity. We are very proud to represent this film and to work with the producers.”