In the Works: WHO TOOK JOHNNY

The makers of BATTLE FOR BROOKLYN profile a determined mother who searches for her missing son – more than thirty years after his disappearance.

who took johnnyOn September 5, 1982, twelve-year-old Johnny Gosch went on his regular newspaper delivery route in West Des Moine, IA. He was never seen again – except as the first missing child whose photo appeared on the side of a milk carton. His mother, Noreen, facing inadequate action from the authorities, began a personal mission to find out what happened to Johnny – a quest that continues to today. In the face of strange theories and unconfirmed sightings, Noreen persists in her work, not only for her son, but for other missing children, helping to save other parents from the pain she has endured for decades. The filmmakers behind Rumur – David Beilinson, Suki Hawley, and Michael Galinsky – tell Noreen’s story, with the goal of shedding light on Johnny’s fate.

The filmmakers are halfway into a month-long Kickstarter campaign for post-production funding. Those interested in contributing have until January 20th to help them reach their $15,000 goal. For more information about the production company, visit Rumur’s website.

Rumur has been researching the case for over a decade, and recently produced MISSING JOHNNY, an MSNBC special about Johnny’s story. Drawing from this hour-long special and their copious research, this independent feature-length project expands by focusing on Noreen’s efforts. Johnny’s case and the speculation that has grown around it would seem to merit a feature treatment. Rumur’s decision to center on Johnny’s mother is a smart one, driving home not only the personal, but also her refusal to be a passive victim. Echoing fellow parent-turned-activist John Walsh’s turn to media to create awareness and advocacy for public policy changes, perhaps this documentary can help bring true closure for Noreen through a crowdsourced solution to the mystery of Johnny’s disappearance.

Note: If you have a feature documentary currently in production or post-production and would like to be considered for an In the Works profile, click here.

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