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Monday, December 10 , 2018, 11:44 pm | Fair 46º


Carpinteria Couple Launch Crowd-Funding Campaign for ‘ReMoved Part Two’ Foster-Care Film

Carpinteria couple Nathanael and Christina Matanick hope to increase awareness of foster care system dynamics through the powerful impact of storytelling in film.

Their first film on the subject, ReMoved, did just that — winning awards at film festivals and being swiftly adopted by agencies throughout the country and world as part of the core training curriculum for new foster parents.

ReMoved featured 9-year-old Santa Barbara resident Abby White in a phenomenal debut performance, and was entirely filmed within Santa Barbara County. ReMoved also was accepted and screened at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival earlier this year.

Now the Matanicks are at the drawing table again, drafting together another powerful story that chronicles the faceted dimensions of the foster care system — all through the eyes of the child in care. They are currently running a crowd-funding campaign, which you can participate in by giving and spreading the word. Click here for more information.

Foster care affects more than 400,000 children in the United States per year, and the average length of time a child spends in the system is 22 months. Some kids’ stays are shorter, some longer. But for all, it is a tumultuous time, with the trauma of entering the system sometimes being worse than the trauma of their birth home experience.

By revealing the emotional journey of a child experiencing this trauma, the short film ReMoved has helped countless adults working with these children to understand and to empathize with the seemingly erratic behaviors of traumatized children. It has also been embraced by foster alum themselves, who have felt that for the first time, there is a film speaking for them.

And with the current funding campaign for ReMoved Part Two, the creative storytellers on the ReMoved team are excited to venture again into the murky waters of child welfare services and the foster care system as a whole, exploring the interconnectedness of all the players in shaping the future of childrens’ lives. ReMoved Part Two will look at how the social workers, birth parents, foster parents, and teachers all intersect in impacting the child — for better or for worse.

It was while Nathanael and Christina Matanick were in foster parent training for their own personal family journey that they became so inspired by their social worker trainer, Chris Poynter with Arrow Child & Family Ministries, that they decided to make a short film exploring the emotional journey of foster care through a child’s eyes. Their 13-minute film, ReMoved, has the feel of a music video — a story you enter into emotionally — and can’t stop watching until the very last scene (which is worth getting to!).

After winning multiple awards at several film festivals, the filmmakers decided to put their poignant film online for free, in the hopes that it could be useful for foster care agencies and similar organizations in their training and recruiting endeavors. The ReMoved team’s goal was that the film would inspire loving adults to consider foster care through the eyes of the child, and to step up to the challenge of loving the nation’s most vulnerable children.

The film went viral, rapidly accelerating to over 3 million online views. In response to the demand, the Matanicks made the film available for agencies to download for training purposes. Over 300 agencies have downloaded the short, and even more have incorporated the heart-felt film into their training program.

As a result of the film and nonprofit agencies’ use of it nationwide, countless individuals and families have begun to consider and commit to becoming foster parents, court-appointed special advocates (CASA), and social workers. In addition, hundreds of foster alum have reached out and communicated their resonance with the film, expressing how amazing it was to feel as though another person articulated their own thoughts and emotions, and the sense of solidarity and community they found in that.

Interested individuals can help with the filmmaking effort by visiting the film’s Facebook page by clicking here and by spreading the word and giving to the campaign. The goal of the campaign is to fund ReMoved Part Two, which will explore new dimensions of the foster care story they began, proving useful yet again for training and recruiting loving families to journey with children through their very difficult circumstances. 


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