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  • Eli Hiller, Director
  • Vanessa Amante, Producer

Five donor-conceived siblings wearing winter clothes stand in front of a waterfall.

About the Project

A filmmaker discovers four siblings conceived through a donor using a DNA test. They journey across the United States to form a modern family while navigating their Filipino-American identities. They also strive to establish a connection with their donor father and undergo a life-changing trip to the Philippines.

In 2018, while residing in the Philippines, I took an AncestryDNA test with the hope of uncovering the identity of my biological father. Instead of finding him, I contacted Jenna Reiter, a 22-year-old donor-conceived sister living in North Carolina. This initial revelation led to the discovery of additional siblings conceived through the same donor: Caden Yarnell, 17, from Toledo, Ohio; Kenny Dysard, 18, from Lowell, Michigan; and Jordain Haley-Banez, 26, residing in Tokyo, Japan. In October 2021, I connected with a first cousin on AncestryDNA, who helped me establish a link with our biological father, Danilo Casino. His entire life changed upon learning about his five donor-conceived children and possibly more.

Throughout the documentary, I aim to explore various themes, such as navigating the dynamics of this new family structure, intergenerational migration, the shared curiosity surrounding our biological father, and the disillusionment associated with the American dream. However, I intend to present these discussions through my personal perspective, acting as a conduit, resulting in an intimate portrayal not previously achieved in donor-conception films. Historically, the identities of Filipino Americans have been overshadowed by American assimilation, but with this film, I strive to demonstrate how we can foster our newly discovered identities by reconnecting with our Filipino family, traveling to the Philippines, and addressing the complexities of our relationship with being Filipino.

Photo Credit: Gracie Becker