The extraordinary journey of a man from Chicago and his mission to transform the lives of New Zealand and American teens is set to get the big screen treatment, with feature length documentary In Zone calling for funds to complete this incredible story.
Directed by Robyn Paterson and produced by Jill Macnab and Christina Milligan, In Zone follows Chicago-born Terrance Wallace who, after coming to New Zealand on a holiday, was so stunned by news reports of Māori and Pasifika youth falling through the cracks that he made the life-changing decision to uproot his life in Chicago and move to New Zealand, with the sole aim to make a difference.
Setting his sights on Auckland’s sought-after “grammar school zone”, Wallace partnered initially with the United Maori Mission to utilise a large boarding home in the heart of the city’s wealthiest and most exclusive schooling area. He invited Māori and Pasifika boys with a desire to succeed to apply for a chance to move into the in-zone home and attend Auckland Grammar School. Not only would these boys now have access to highly resourced schooling, but also, critically, Grammar’s extremely influential alumni network, which lies at the centre of the nation’s business and political inner circles. This, he believes, is how you begin to break cycles.
The boys have overcome obstacles, dealt with set-backs, and made breakthrough successes with many going on to become the first in their families to embark on tertiary education. Terrance meanwhile is feeling the pull back home to Chicago where escalating racial tensions and violence have led to many begging him to start the scheme there. Wallace now faces the challenge of utilising all of his knowledge from NZ, along with a set of new and different challenges, to launch In Zone Illinois – finding African-American and Hispanic teens to be pioneers of the programme on the other side of the world from where it all began.
Created to date with support from the NZ Film Commission and private investors, In Zone is now seeking crowd-funding support to capture Wallace in the next phase of his incredible journey.
“By engaging with these kids’ stories and looking at the underlying issues, it’s my hope that the film will be able to shine a light on what’s happening to create division and how we can begin to create change,” says director Robyn Paterson. “Terrance is delving head first into what has become a pivotal time in Chicago’s history. We’ve put huge amounts of our own resources into this film so far, but we really need support to be over there with him and help bring this story to the world’s attention.”
Potential backers are invited to head here to support this incredible cinematic project and reap a great range of rewards. These rewards range from an exclusive streaming link to watch the film when it launches ($50) through to one on one Skype sessions with the filmmaker and Terrance ($500) and a motivational team building session with Terrance for a lucky team or workplace ($5,000). A full list of rewards can be found on the Kickstarter Page.
The Kickstarter is live now and will run till the 12th April. All funds raised will go towards the production costs associated with covering the Chicago portion of the film. Any additional funds will go into the marketing and distribution of this story to ensure it gets the widest audience possible.