Abandon

Logline

Based on true events that shook California's system of foster care. An atypical story of a defeatist, suicidal teen who finds a friend in an oversexed 9 year old. Together, they go AWOL from the restrains of a group home facility.

Synopsis

Secluded in a group home for troubled teens, Austin attempts to splice his left wrist before he is pinned down by an employee. In the time of dire support, Austin meets a wisp of a girl - Faith. Together, they sneak out to go AWOL from the restraints of the group home. But, the world outside is cruel and much different from what they imagined. What emerges is a powerful study of the sensibility of at-risk kids confined in a broken system, ostracized by the society.

Background

On a June morning of 2013, a calm neighborhood in Davis, California woke up to the sirens of police cars searching and detaining escaped children from a local park. Kids as young as 9 had gone awol from a group home facility. Davis descends into chaos when it was discovered that the children left the campus for days at a time, often in large groups. Sexual assault allegations were unearthed. Two boys were arrested that day for raping an 11-year-old girl. From the group home, the calls for help came day and night from the group home for troubled children in Davis, California. Dozens a day – to the police, to state authorities, the unending pleas chronicling sexual assaults and suicide tries, runaways and random violence. Children were conveniently vilified in the public eye but there was no denying that a rescue was mounted too late, and the disaster in Davis to this day haunts those it touched. Group homes have increasingly been deemed a failed model, yet year after year vulnerable and volatile children remain housed in them for lack of a better option.

Director's Statement

Abandon is a sensitive dramatic piece about lives of children with scarred childhood and how they find routes to survive. My association to the cause of childcare can be traced back to volunteering with non profit organizations that relocate abandoned children from Train junctions to group homes. These efforts to save them from delinquency, substance abuse or sex trade often proved futile because of a questionable efficacy of group homes. This film is an effort to harness my artistic potential to make a change, to give voice to the mute. In order to be honest in portrayal, me and my team have consulted and collaborated with multiple non profits, children and social workers who have worked in foster care facilities.