Hamish Downie’s Five Questions With Alex Dispoto

Editor Note: Hamish has another in his series of Five Questions With…

Hamish came up with this idea because he was accumulating too much material for his Famous News Sushi column and asked if he could do these mini-interviews. Why would we say no?

Thank you, Hamish, for being such a trooper for us. We really appreciate all of your hard work.

Let us know what you think of these interviews in the comments below.

TGGeeks: Could you please introduce yourself and your work? I understand that you are a werewolf?

Alex Dispoto: I’m Alex Dispoto, a writer-director who specializes in raising awareness about underrepresented issues through compelling film and TV. In 2019, I directed a feature-length film WEREWOLVES, a one-of-a-kind interactive documentary in which a diverse group of subjects shared their first-hand experiences with mental health challenges. The film earned sponsorship from the Mayor’s Office and Stigma-Free Committee of Bergenfield, NJ, and went on to screen in other communities across the state of NJ.

Currently, I am in pre-production for my narrative feature screenplay GINGERBREAD KIDS, about the horrors and failures of the U.S. foster care system as told through the eyes of an abused brother and sister.

TGG: Could you please tell us about GINGERBREAD KIDS?

AD: The story of GINGERBREAD KIDS is a collage of the many horrors experienced by foster children every day, and an exposé on the broken system that enables these atrocities to continue. “When a mentally troubled teen breaks his little sister out of an abusive foster home, the pair embark on a run from the law and do whatever it takes to stay together.”

TGG: What inspired you to make this story?

AD: There are nearly 400,000 children in the child welfare system in America today. 1 in 3 are abused while in foster care. Around 80% of foster kids have significant mental health issues, and children in the foster system experience PTSD at around 5x the average rate, and are 4x more likely to attempt suicide. Around 70% of youth in the juvenile justice system, 60% of child trafficking victims, and 33% of homeless young adults, all come from foster care. I believe anyone who absorbs these statistics should feel an overwhelming need to contribute to a solution – for me, GINGERBREAD KIDS is that contribution. I hope to raise awareness and guide a discussion towards positive systemic reform to save the children of this Country (while, of course, maintaining a captivating and exciting narrative for the audience to enjoy!)

TGG: What’s next for the GINGERBREAD KIDS project?

AD: You can watch the teaser for the film NOW on our crowdfund page, along with deeper story details and references! We are currently crowdfunding to raise a proper budget leading up to production in July. Production is anticipated to wrap by the end of August, with post-production spanning the fall. The film will have a standalone theatrical premiere in 2024, at which point it will enter the festival circuit and secure streaming distribution soon after!

TGG: How can we best support you? (Follow you on socials, donate to the movie, buy/watch your films?)

AD: The absolute best way you can contribute to this film and cause is by donating to our crowdfund today! Every dollar helps, and you can receive some awesome perks for as low as $5! (igg.me/at/GingerbreadKids). Remember, if you are unable to donate, and even if you do donate, please SHARE the campaign to your friends, family, and social circles! The more exposure we get, the more donations we receive, and the smoother production will go! You can also follow @GingerbKidsFilm on Twitter, and @GingerbreadKidsFilm on Instagram and Facebook for all updates and sneak peeks throughout production! My personal page is @DispotoFilms. I want to thank everyone in advance for their support – it means the world to me and my team!

Teaser & Crowdfund: igg.me/at/GingerbreadKids

HAMISH NOTE: We can donate to the crowdfunding campaign through IndieGoGo’s InDemand function, which allows us to donate even after the deadline passes

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