About the film:
AMERICA’S MOST UNWANTED (AMU) is a video project that explores the lives of LGBTQ foster youth who have emancipated from foster care. This inspirational exposé will inspire empty-nesters to become foster parents, encourage politicians to change policy, and empower foster youth and their supporters!
You can now screen our film online right now –Click Here!
A tale of endearment, AMERICA’S MOST UNWANTED (AMU) provides a candid glimpse into the lives of LGBTQ foster youth filtered through a lens of hope. Directed, shot, and edited by a former foster youth for her Master’s degree in film production, the film also represents an important milestone in foster youth achievement with ‘less than 2% of fosters making it to college’.
Through interviews, vérité footage, and digital stills, AMU reveals four queer former foster youth building their lives after emancipation from state care. With a three-act structure, AMU follows Baba (Connor), Savi, and Teruko over their first four years after foster care, juxtaposing these stories with those of Valerie, a successful adult former foster youth. Over the course of the film, we witness these youth in their natural environments, involved in making art, taking care of children and playing instruments in jazz bands. Just like youth outside of the foster care system, AMU’s characters have many talents too, and dreams and hopes to change their futures.
The characters’ resiliency, humor, and sensitivity are illustrated by their incredible insights into their own identities and experiences as revealed in intimate interviews in the film. Together, these multi-generational stories illuminate the common struggle for queer foster youth to overcome tremendous obstacles – homophobia, homelessness, isolation – and the new place of strength they reach in this process of survival.
As we witness these youth’s lives juxtaposed with success stories from other survivors of foster care, AMU challenges to eradicate the stigma of foster youth in society. The film promotes respect for those coming out of the system and calls upon viewers to take action in caring for America’s queer foster youth, ideally inspiring empty-nesters to become foster parents.
We hope that a unique connection will be created from these candid interviews that will inspire LGBTQ adults and their allies to become foster parents and change the negative stigma placed on foster youth.
To book a screening or to book an interview about the film, please contact the Director, Shani Heckman, HERE: firstname.lastname@example.org
More about LGBTQ foster youth:
Click HERE to listen to a radio podcast with former foster youth Fresh White & AMU director Shani Heckman as they speak about difficulties for LGBTQ foster youth.