‘Stolen Innocence’ Charts the Multiple 1970s Kidnappings of an Idaho Girl

"We believe in this film. We believe it can save lives."
Indiewire's Project of the Day: 'Stolen Innocence'

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Stolen Innocence

Logline: 12-year-old Jan Broberg was kidnapped by her parents’ best friend and trusted neighbor. Twice.

Elevator Pitch:

In 1974, Jan Broberg was kidnapped by her parents best friend, Robert Bechtold. He drugged her and strapped her to a bed in the back of a motorhome, and drove to Mexico. Upon awakening, Jan heard high-pitched voices, repeating commands through a small intercom, leading her to believe that she and Berchtold had been abducted by aliens. The FBI conducted a nationwide manhunt and found Jan 5 weeks later. Jan’s family remained oblivious to Berchtold’s diabolical intentions towards their daughter. His calculated manipulation of the entire family ultimately led to Jan’s second disappearance.

Production Team:

Skye Borgman (Director/ Producer/ DP) is an award winning filmmaker who shoots both narrative and documentary films. Skye was cinematographer on “Quiet Riot: Well Now You’re Here, There’s No Way Back,” a documentary, currently airing on Showtime. Skye received the “Accolade Award of Excellence” and “Best Documentary” for “Junk Dreams,” a feature documentary that she shot and directed. Other notable cinematography credits include: “Nothing Like Chocolate”, “Intervention,” “Mumia: Long Distance Revolutionary” and “The People of the Galapagos.” Skye is the co-owner of Top Knot Films, a boutique production company that has worked with The New York Times, National Geographic, ABC, Princess Cruise lines, Cedars Sinai, Fox and Disney.

James Cude (Editor) is an award winning editor with over 15 years of experience and has edited projects in 3 different languages (English, Spanish and ASL). Feature credits include “No Ordinary Hero” starring Academy Award winner Marlee Matlin; “I Do” starring Jamie-Lynn Sigler; “Undocumented,” and the award-winning doc “Pageant.” James received a 2015 Daytime Emmy nomiation as lead editor for “Got Your 6” (MTV). Other television projects include “Tornado Alley”(Weather Channel), “Reunion” (HBO), “Booze Traveler” (Travel), “Haunted Highway” (SyFy), “Auction Kings” (Discovery),“Crime 360” (A&E) and more! Outside of the edit bay, James began playing water polo in his 30’s and in 2008, qualified for the U.S.A. National Deaf Team. He competed in the Deaflympics in Taiwan with the team, and has the distinction of being the oldest American ever to compete in that sport at the Deaflympics.

Stephanie Tobey (Producer) produced and starred in the feature film, “Killer Party.” A horror/comedy about a group of friends that get trapped at a baby shower when a mysterious outbreak turns people into homicidal maniacs. “Killer Party” has world wide distribution and will be premiering on a variety of on demand platforms in the US August 16 and in Europe August 22 as “LA Contaigion.” “Killer Party” won “Best Horror Feature” and “Best Ensemble Cast” among many at festivals. Stephanie can be seen on screen most recently in “Cougar Town” and the web series “Prove It,” “There Will Be Brawl” and “Whacked.”

About the Film:

A co-worker suggested I read “Stolen Innocence,” about another employee, Jan Broberg. I picked up the book and I couldn’t put it down.

When I met Jan, I could see that talking about her experience 40 years ago still deeply affected her. Soon after, three girls that had been missing for more than a decade were found locked in a home in Cleveland, Ohio. I didn’t want this to happen to anyone else.

Jan said, “Think of how many people you could reach by telling my story.”

We believe in this film. We believe it can save lives.

Current Status: Fundraising for post production. We have a 90 min rough cut. We need to do some fine tuning, shoot re-creations, graphics, sound design and music.

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