Filmmaker Jennifer Venditti crafts a cinéma vérité
-style coming-of-age story with this portrait of a small-town teen from Maine who struggles to embrace his outsider status while still being shaped by the tragic events of his childhood. It was while casting the Carter Smith
that Venditti first encountered the boy named Billy -- his eccentric wisdom leaving an immediate and lasting impression on the filmmaker. Later, after casting Billy in the film and preparing to craft a documentary about everyday heroes, Venditti and her crew returned to Maine to spend five days with the troubled young boy who had commanded her attention. Shunned by his classmates and categorized as a "special needs" student by his teachers, Billy boldly refuses to be victimized by his individuality in an environment obsessed with labels and conformity.