In December 2020, we announced we had entered pre-production for the narrative limited series IZIDOR, based on the true story of Izidor Ruckel. Now, we are pleased to announce we will preview the series with a short film called REAL BOY FOR A DAY.
The “short” will present an adaption of a pivotal event in Izidor’s otherwise horrible childhood that awakens his self-awareness. At that time, Izidor was an 8-year-old boy with a paralyzed leg when he was allowed to step outside of the asylum for the first time – ever:
Izidor is a disabled orphan trapped in a world of animation when he unexpectedly gets a night out of the asylum and experiences the “real” world.
The short film utilizes both animation and live action to accentuate the disparity between how institutionalized children experience life compared to children in families. The stakes are high because Izidor isn’t a fictional character, but a real boy trying to determine what it means to be human. He represents not just Romanian orphans, but all orphans worldwide.
The short film is a wake-up call, shining a spotlight on the human rights issues that orphans face everywhere. This project has two purposes. First, this format is a great way to expand our message to non-traditional movie audiences, where viewers are seeking to gather information that is concise, sparks their imagination, and empowers them to “do something” to make the world a better place. Some groups that could utilize the short film include the following:
- Orphan Advocacy Groups/Child Welfare Organizations – We will partner with a growing list of organizations and offer private showings and online screenings for their conventions, fundraisers, and educational resources.
- Trauma Resource and Recovery Groups – Childhood trauma impacts people their entire lifetime. We will work with trauma experts in utilizing this resource to give people a glimpse into the life and psyche of an institutionalized child.
- Educational Institutions – Hundreds of colleges, representing tens of thousands of students, offer degrees in social justice, human rights, psychology and child development. With its thoughtful and provoking message, the short film is a perfect format for classroom study, as well as university panel discussions. In addition, middle school and high school teachers could utilize the film for student discussions in various classes, such as history, psychology and civics.
- Religious Organizations– We plan to partner with religious organizations that show a history of caring for the orphan. For example, the Pew Research Center reports that 37% of all Americans attend church on a weekly basis, with orphan care being a tenet of most churches and synagogues.
Second, REAL BOY FOR A DAY will give traditional film audiences and film festival judges a preview of our vision for the limited series. If well received, the short offers great potential for attracting investors to fund the entire series.
In the end, we hope to encourage and influence a worldwide conversation about orphans through this short film: When will we, as a global society, treat orphans as real boys and girls not just for a day – but every day?
Please consider donating to make this short film a reality! Our international production team is poised to begin filming in Romania in August.*
Our budget is $200,000 to produce the short film, coordinate a healthy film festival circuit, and distribute the film worldwide. To date, we have raised $55,000 toward that goal, all from private donations!
The Izidor Story Team
*Filming dates are dependent upon favorable Romanian COVID travel regulations at that time.