A teen addict, haunted by a destructive past, finds love, hope and redemption at an unconventional recovery program for at-risk youth.
LEAF MATTHEWS, 17, wakes up in juvenile hall after a drug binge that caused him to accidentally overdose and get arrested. He’s released to his Mother and Grandmother who trick Leaf into thinking he’s simply going home. Once asleep in the back of the car, they lock the doors and drive Leaf to America’s House, a long-term residential rehab facility located in the mountains east of San Diego.
Leaf adamantly refuses treatment but when he discovers his clothes are in the back, he seemingly resigns, asking his Grandmother to pop the trunk. Leaf rummages through his bags, seizing a jacket with a bag of speed in the pocket
Rushing down the road, snorting up everything he can, Leaf becomes aware that this program is situated in the middle of nowhere. Miles from home, Leaf agrees to enter treatment but only if his little sister Autumn, stays with his Grandmother, and not his Mother. A violent argument ensues. Leaf spews hate at his Mother, inferring she’s unfit to be a parent and there’s no way Autumn will be alone with her. Leaf’s Mother caves. Autumn will stay with Grandma.
Leaf, high from the speed, gets “showered in” and meets the staff and residents of the program. After detoxing, Leaf registers that this program is unlike any he’s experienced before. The chief difference is that his peers, all with troubled pasts of their own, seem to be bought into the program’s structure, and it’s working. They’re sober, back in school, employed, or enrolling in college.
In spite of this, Leaf vehemently rebels against everyone, but when Leaf’s grandmother unexpectedly dies, Leaf’s world is shaken to the core. Grandma’s final request was that Leaf completes the program, but his sister will now be going back home with his Mother. Something Leaf cannot let happen.
Will he leave, denying his Grandmother’s final wish or will he stay putting his sister’s life at risk? With only a month of sobriety under his belt Leaf must face his family’s tragic past in order to save his sister and himself.
Most films on addiction spend very little time on recovery. If they are about recovery they tend to only explore the first step: admitting there is a problem. They also tend to focus on the dark side of addiction and the struggles addicts face while using drugs. Marathon is a narrative feature film which takes a new approach. It focuses on the drama of what happens when someone no longer has drugs and the underlying reasons why someone turns to drugs in the first place.
The material has been taken directly from Writer/Director Sky Soleil’s life. Growing up with a mentally ill and highly abusive mother, Sky turned to drugs for escape at the age of 12. Thankfully at 16, he went to Phoenix House – a national recovery center. After 18 months he completed the program, graduated high school, went on to college, received his masters and is currently celebrating his 22nd year of sobriety.
Sky stresses the incredible impact of living with kids his same age with similar pasts who were now sober and living life again. Besides the wonderful staff working for the program, there were 20 older residents, kids 14 to 18 years old who had been sober for 6 months and up. “That positive peer environment was key. It made me want to try.” Sky has also never seen some of the treatment methods he experienced first hand explored in a film. “It was a unique time in the program’s history, as raw and real as any film about addiction, but in an environment that propelled kids to face their pasts and overcome the obstacles that landed them there.
Ultimately, this film is about teenagers striving to reclaim their lives during treatment. The story begins with an intervention and examines what can happen when a troubled youth is placed in a positive peer environment dedicated to helping a lost individual get back on track.”
Writer Director Sky Soleil
With over 15 years experience acting, voice acting, directing and producing content, I’ve had the pleasure of reaching millions of people worldwide telling stories in unique and meaningful ways.
I have worked across the Los Angeles media landscape on projects of all shapes and sizes: from feature films to commercials, television to video games, to leading projects behind the scenes as a writer, director and producer. I simply love being a part of the constantly evolving media landscape.
Some of the global brands and networks I’ve worked with include Universal Pictures, Ubisoft, Relativity Media, CBS, Dolby, NBC, Sprint, ABC, Dow and Showtime.
My creative roots formed on stage during my college years at the Mesa Theater Co. in San Diego and the American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco where I completed my MFA.