Donor Unknown


A twenty-first century tale of identity and genetic inheritance and the family of the future.

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For the first time in history a generation of children born through artificial insemination are old enough to search for their biological fathers. Donor Unknown will follow two young people as they first decide and then travel to meet their father for the first time and as they navigate the increasingly complex maze of new and constantly evolving family relationships.

In the past, parents of donor-conceived children were encouraged to stay silent to protect the child. Now, there is more emphasis on openness and honesty, and on the rights of children to know their genetic parents. But this is unknown territory, the first generation of children making an extraordinary journey through a minefield of secret hopes and potential disappointment.


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A MetFilm/ Redbird Media co-production
Directed by: Jerry Rothwell
Producer: Hilary Durman & Al Morrow
Executive Producer: Jonny Persey
Financier: Arte G.E.I.E, More 4, VPRO, Sundance Institute Documentary Film Programme, Gucci Tribeca Documentary Fund, Wellcome Trust, Naked Edge Films.

Festivals / Awards

2010 – Sheffield Documentary Film Festival
2010 – IDFA (International Documentary Film Festival, Amsterdam)
2011 – Tribeca Film Festival. Winner Audience (online) Award
2011– AFI/Discovery Channel Silverdocs. Audience Award Winner
2011 – RTS Award Winner for Best Self Shooting Director Jerry Rothwell
2011 – Grierson Award Nominee


Nothing in the Hollywood imagination can compete with the plot of Donor Unknown –  Kate Spicer, The Sunday Times

…surprising, amusing and oddly melancholic: a genuine human drama – **** Time Out

A fascinating Journey into Identity and Family – LA Times

A skilfully constructed look at a very modern family – Total Film

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