MONTCLAIR, NJ - The community came together Thursday to support a documentary that was made in Montclair. The One That Got Away, produced by John Block and Steve McCarthy, and premiered at the Montclair Film Festival in 2015, is now being considered by New York City’s Public TV Channel 13 to air nationally.
The film follows the life of Tourrie (Ray-Ray) Moses whose life goes towards a path of crime and drugs despite the support and intervention given to him. His teachers, who saw a different side of Moses, were in shock since he was so gifted.
The film does not blame any one intervention for person or his plight, it says that all of them are responsible.
Producer Steve McCarthy said, “John Block and I spent our life telling stories around the country. This time we decided to do it closer to home. We found a story about a teacher and a student – but it’s more than that – it’s about a situation that involves every community in America. It involves children at risk and what we have to do to help them.”
An outpouring of support came from the community as attendees flocked into Marcia Marley’s Montclair home in the hopes of raising $40,000 toward the launch for national broadcast.
Montclair's Glenfield Middle School teachers Dan Gill and Deborah Maher were prominently featured in the film and in attendance at the event. Gill taught the boy featured in the film, Moses, who was a gifted student who eventually lost his way to end up in prison serving time for manslaughter and aggravated assault.
McCarthy added that it was a total community effort. He said there was no funding involved. It was done with the teachers and the community. When it screened in front of 1400 people at the Montclair Film Festival in 2015, McCarthy said the response was amazing.
McCarthy added, “We contacted channel 13 and they expressed interest in airing it nationally. We needed quite a bit of funding. Again the community came out. This is the beginning tonight, to raise money to do something about the community, that is also about the entire country.”
McCarthy thanked Rose Cali, Marcia Marley, Dan and Brendan Gill and everyone who has shown so much support.
Tap Into Montclair asked what the main impetus was to begin this project. McCarthy said, “Tourrie is so smart, so gentle and so wonderful. We now see that, when he is in prison sober and clean and on a straight path. The kid that these teachers saw in 6th, 7th and 8th grade is back.”
He went on to say that young people struggle with drugs and alcohol and when they do not have family support they go out looking for love and family sometimes falling into harm’s way.
Angela Frasca, an educator, said she came out to the support the community involved in it and was really interested in the movie because she heard so much about it. Frasca said, “It will start the conversation about how to help kids not slip through the cracks.”
Once President of the Montclair School Board, Barbara Gottesman, attended to the event. She said, “I saw the film. It was fabulous. My son had these teachers. It’s a great film. I think it should be mandatory in every middle and high school in the country because it shows how much a teacher and an educational institution can do, and how much they can’t do.”