Jerry Rothwell’s entertaining look at sperm donation and family connections made its world premiere at Sheffield last year before making appearances at other major fests including IDFA and Tribeca, where it snagged the Best Feature Award for the online component of the latter event.
In my coverage of IDFA for indieWIRE, I wrote:
Rothwell’s film was introduced as covering a lighter topic than many of the more social issue-oriented selections, but while perhaps not as ultra-serious in approach, its core is still thought-provoking. The titular figure is Jeffrey, a Venice Beach RV dweller who used to make a substantial amount of money by donating sperm to the California Cryobank. After some of his many biological offspring find one another thanks to an online registry database, leading to a New York Times cover story, he reveals his identity. The film focuses on one of his daughters, JoEllen, as she explains how she found more than a dozen half-siblings (so far), and sets out to meet Jeffrey in person for the first time. In the process, the film explores concepts of family and parenthood, and attains poignancy when Jeffrey’s kids and their mothers confront the reality behind who he is versus their idealized fantasies based on his donor questionnaire.