TENDER AGE

By Peter CARSTAIRS

TAUIHU MEDIA LTD - as PROD

Drama - Development 2019

Fourteen year old elite swimmer Ty's illicit relationship with his much older swimming coach is discovered. She ends up pregnant and in prison and he wants to be the father to their child, but first must convince his ambitious single mother that fatherhood is more important to him than his swimming.

    • Year of production
    • 2019
    • Genres
    • Drama
    • Countries
    • NEW ZEALAND
    • Languages
    • ENGLISH
    • Budget
    • 1 - 3 M$
    • Duration
    • 104 mn
    • Director(s)
    • Peter CARSTAIRS
    • Writer(s)
    • Dianne TAYLOR
    • Producer(s)
    • Tui RUWHIU (Tauihu Media Ltd)
    • Synopsis
    • Ty (14) dreams of becoming an Olympic swimmer and is supported by his ambitious single mother Mariah (a 31 year old law student) who fits her life around his demanding training schedule. But when it’s discovered that Ty has been having sex with his swimming coach, Nina (33), their tightly controlled world falls apart. Ty’s outraged when the police arrest Nina and tell him he was ‘raped’. But he finds support from Mariah’s boyfriend, Eric, who assures him that he did what any red-blooded young man would have.

      Mariah is determined not to let this disrupt Ty’s swimming prospects and finds Ty a tough male swim coach who accepts Ty into his elite squad. Ty’s life seems to be back on track until it’s revealed that Nina is pregnant with his child.

      Nina gives birth but is not allowed to keep her baby (Ted) with her in jail. Ty is determined to be a father to him and he and Eric try to convince Mariah to become Ted’s guardian and bring him into the family. Mariah opposes it, not wanting to see Ty struggle as she did as a teen parent, but finally relents and Baby Ted moves in.

      Ty joins a teen parent unit at school where he befriends teen mum, Jasmine. Ty and Eric manage Ted’s care while Mariah continues her studies. But when Ted gets sick, Ty’s swimming performance falters, and his place on the squad is in jeopardy. When Nina’s sister offers to take Ted into their family, Mariah believes it’s best for all of them.

      Terrified that Mariah is going to give Ted up, Ty flees with him in Eric’s van, staying the night with Jasmine who lives in a caravan on her aunt’s property. Fearing for Ty and Ted, Jasmine tips off Eric, but Ty finds out and takes off with Ted in the van. The police are alerted and a chase ensues – ending when Ty runs a red light and collides with a bus.

      Ted is unharmed, but Ty lies in hospital in a coma. Mariah holds Ted in her arms, finally accepting him as her grandchild. When Ty finally wakes, Mariah knows that she can’t let Ted leave them.

      Six month’s later the family play with Ted at the beach. There’s hope for a new order where everyday family joys are valued as highly as ambitions for the future.
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