Turn Around

Turn Around is an independent, cinematic true crime documentary telling a gangster story you’ve never heard. Featuring Black Panthers, wrongful conviction, love children and some of America’s most dangerous criminals, this untold story of a life eventfully lived really does have everything.

£12,249.00
raised of £11,000.00 goal
Funded
136 Backers
Genre
Documentary
Scope
Short
Seeking funding for
Production
Campaign type
All or Nothing
Support project
Project

Turn Around

Genre
Documentary
Seeking funding for
Production
Scope
Short
Campaign type
All or Nothing
Image

Turn Around is an independent, cinematic true crime documentary telling a gangster story you’ve never heard. Featuring Black Panthers, wrongful conviction, love children and some of America’s most dangerous criminals, this untold story of a life eventfully lived really does have everything.

Although this is a factual documentary, we are planning on telling the story with a cinematic aesthetic, and nods to narrative filmmaking, such as styling our subjects, working with an incredible stylist in London. Fellini, Wong Kar Wai, Lanthimos... these are some of our references, filmmakers who tell their stories on two levels; a rich aesthetic and a deeper subtext. There are elements of Fargo, and the Sopranos within this story, and it’s important for us to bring out the textures of the Minnesota location - the snow, the landscape, the clothes – I want you to feel it. That’s why we want to shoot this project on film, getting as close as possible to the visual essence of this story that goes back decades. 

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Hi, my name is Breanna Box, I am the director and producer of TURN AROUND. I have a background in acting, and fashion, I’ve been on sets for film and commercials so I know how things work. I have recently directed my first short but this is my first narrative and very personal at that.

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My grandpa, James Box, isn’t your average grandfather. There are things in his life he’s definitely not proud of, but there are also things he is. Having a store that helped the Black Panthers distribute their newspaper – no matter how many times the cops came in and threatened him. Putting a woman behind a bar in the state of Minnesota for the first time, helping to pass the law allowing women to bartend. He would rob grocery stores on Thanksgiving and open up a truck to give everyone a free turkey for their meal. 

He did want to have a legitimate life, and gave up crime when he had the means to do so. He bred Arabian show horses, opened a flower shop with my grandmother, had a TV store, clothing stores and dedicated time to raising his ten kids (as well as two along the way that we just found out about… he was a bit of a rolling stone). 

And then he got taken away to prison for a crime he didn’t commit. In 1989 he was accused of what was at the time the largest drug deal in the world in Eastern Kentucky, convicted in a $500,000,000 trial and sentenced to 35 years. Thank God for parole for good behaviour he was released after 10.

After he’d served his time, the prison asked him to come back and work as a nurse there. He was the only person who could handle some of their more challenging inmates, some really dangerous people (including the real Texas Chainsaw Massacre murderer) who didn’t want to bathe, take their medicine or co-operate with staff. 

Another important part of the story is my grandmother Mary Lou. Behind every great man, as we know, is a great woman. I wonder what she was thinking as she stood behind a man for 15 years while he was in prison, getting politically involved, reading as much as possible, trying to find holes in the CIA’s wrongful case against him. She coped by turning to God, flower arranging and reading, and planning to write a book about my grandfather’s life. 

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The video above was taken just after my grandfather recovered from Covid. Quite a miracle as at 87 years old, with diabetes and two stents in his heart, he was definitely an ‘at-risk’ patient. This has given me an epiphany I’m sure a lot of you have had as well, that I’m on a time crunch here. That I need to create something about him, for him, for him to witness, about his time on earth (which I hope is a long time yet). Grandma hasn’t been able to fulfil her dream of telling my grandfather’s story, and this is where it feels like it’s my duty as a grandchild to come in. 

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HTAT LIN HTUT is a New York based cinematographer. His portfolio features work for commercial clients including Frederic Malle, Jil Sander, Y-3, Valentino, Jo Malone, Uniqlo, Bottega Veneta and Fendi. He has created the look and feel of music videos for artists such as James Blake, Summer Walker and Vonavi, as well as narrative shorts and documentaries, including the award winning short film Influx, directed by Daniel Uribe. 

ELLIE GRACE CUMMING is a London based stylist and a fashion editor for the men’s biannual style publication AnOther Man. She has worked alongside photographers such as Nick Knight, Alasdair McLellan, Harley Weir, Steven Meisel and Zoe Ghertner, and with clients including Marc Jacobs, Dior Homme, Hugo Boss and Jil Sander. Cumming has worked across both film and still image.

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To tell this story the way I want to, I need your help. We’re raising funding to shoot this the way it should be shot, on film. We’ve budgeted for everything we need to make this a reality: sound, editing, gaffers, Covid safety, food, locations. We’ve pulled in a lot of favours and put in our own funds, but we can’t pull this off without help from you. It’s also essential to shoot before the snow melts in Minnesota, and I also have to bear in mind my Grandpa’s health, so time is of the essence. 

£12,249.00
raised of £11,000.00 goal
Funded
136 Backers

Pledge without reward:

You can make a pledge to support Turn Around without a reward. The minimum donation is £1.00.
£
Sneak Peak

See the film first with a private link as soon as the film is completed!

£15.00
Poster

Get your 12x18 poster!

£30.00
SOCKS

Keep your feet warm this winter season!

£30.00
Face Mask

Protect yourself and the ones you love!

£40.00
Hat
£45.00
T shirt with poster

Available in any size!

£60.00
Q&A

Ask anything to Jim Box as we put together a video with all your questions answered :)

£60.00
Long Sleeve T Black

The From of the Tee reads TURN AROUND

£90.00
Beige T
£90.00
Pink Long Sleeve

Visuals for front of tee on page!

£90.00
10 Zoom Meeting with the director
£200.00
Mary Lou's Vintage Vase

Take a piece of the collection home to cherish forever.

£500.00
Associate Producer Credit
£1,000.00
Executive Producer Credit

Join the team with an official credit

£2,000.00