Arts&Culture Personal&POV Social&Human Interest
Halfie is an unpredictable and reflective 90-minute journey that takes a fresh look at the significance of family and identity for donor-conceived children. This documentary will follow my perspective as a director, behind and in front of the lens, as I meet my half-siblings, their families and find our biological father. This documentary provides an unprecedented opportunity to empower, engage and enlighten a new generation that are born into a modern family. Throughout the documentary, I will attempt to track down our sperm donor and also capture on film the unavoidable pitfalls along the way. With no name, photo, address or contact information, many donor-conceived children have an incredibly difficult time finding their relatives. My journey will begin when I return home to Ohio. First, to my hometown in Athens, Ohio, to visit my mother, and then to Columbus, Ohio, where my biological father lived during his college years. My biological father left one letter to his donor children that said, “If someone told you that this is a cold world, they are lying. God helps those that help themselves, reach for the stars, but don’t let your dreams become too possessive.”
In the United States, there has been a resurgence in educating ourselves about our ancestral roots. This became my reality when I migrated to the Philippines in December 2016. Although I was raised outside of Filipino culture, I instantaneously felt an ethereal connection to the mannerisms of the people, the significance of family and the undying love for food. I thought to myself, this innate connection must have been inherited through the bloodline of my father. This is what initially brought me to film this story. Halfie was born to reconsider our traditional definition of family and unearth the identity conflicts we all face in life. A search for a father is a search for oneself. I knew these conversations I had with my half-siblings were significant and would also shed light on the greater donor conception experience. These modern families are becoming the new norm. I hope Halfie can serve as a reminder that no one is alone on this journey for self-purpose.