Grants & Awards

Donor Unknown

– by Jerry Rothwell

    1. Nonfiction

    2. Date Awarded: Winter 2010

    3. Directors(s): Jerry Rothwell

    1. Producer(s): Hilary Durman & Al Morrow

    2. Company Credit: Met Film Productions

    3. Location: USA

    1. Film Status: Completed

    2. URL: » Donor Unknown site

    3. Distribution: Independent Lens

About the Film:

A twenty-first century tale of identity and genetic inheritance, and perhaps the family of the future. For the first time in history a generation of children born through artificial insemination are old enough to search for their biological fathers. For some it will prove to be a fruitless journey but the offspring of Donor Unknown have a dad who is willing and ready to be found.

About the Filmmakers:

Jerry Rothwell (Director)  is a documentary filmmaker whose work includes the award-winning documentary features, Deep Water (Pathe/FilmFour/UK Film Council, co-directed with Louise Osmond), about Donald Crowhursts ill-fated voyage in the 1968 round the world yacht race and Heavy Load (IFC/ITVS) about a group of people with learning disabilities who form a punk band. Directing credits prior to this included The Late George Shaw, a half hour film for Channel 4’s Art Show series, two shorts in the Modern Painters series for Channel 4 and programmes for BBC, Carlton, Channel 4, Teachers TV and the Arts Council.   Another strand of Jerry’s work has been participatory production, working with people to tell their own stories on film. He played in lead role in developing Hi8us Projects improvised dramas with young people for Channel 4 and in establishing First Light, the Film Council’s scheme for young filmmakers, and recently setting up a digital storytelling collaboration between marginalised communities across Europe. Jerry has one other film currently in production: Town of Runners.

Hilary Durham (Producer) is a director of award-winning indie Redbird Media, and a producer with a distinctive track record in documentaries and dramas. She has won three BAFTAs for recent dramas including Oddsquad by John Godber and Dream On by Ray Harrison Graham. Earlier this year she produced All About Me, a drama about a teenager discovering that he was donor-conceived. It was this drama which opened up the relationship with and access to Donor 150.  Hilary has produced documentaries for BBC and Channel 4 on many different subjects – Without You focused on young people coping with bereavement, Picture of Hull explored the work of playwright John Godber, and The Greatest Show on Earth followed a deaf woman’s journey to dance in Rio Carnival. Hilary has been Executive Producer of New Shoots, Channel 4’s debut documentary strand for disabled directors and the follow-up 12 part documentary series, The Shooting Party.  She recently produced the feature documentary The Time of Their Lives, broadcast by BBC 4, acquired by a number of overseas broadcasters, and screened at numerous international film festivals.

Al Morrow (Producer) is an independent producer and Head of Documentary at Met Film Production. She produced the award winning feature documentary Deep Water (Pathe, UKFC,FilmFour) winner of the Grierson award for Best Cinema Documentary and Jerry Rothwell’s feature documentary Heavy Load (IFCtv, ITVS, BBC) which won the Audience Award at Britdoc in 2008 before it’s theatrical release and broadcast premiere on IFCtv in the US and BBC in the UK. She has just completed Dylan William’s Men Who Swim (BBC,SVT,VPRO,ZDF/ARTE) a co-production with Amp Film in Sweden and is in production on Jerry’s feature documentary Town of Runners (Britdoc Channel 4 Foundation). Al is in active development with a slate of projects including Jerry’s upcoming feature documentary, How to Change The World being developed through the UK Film Council about the founders of Greenpeace and Jeanie Finlay’s The Great Hip Hop Hoax (BBC Scotland).

Festival & Award Highlights:

Sheffield Doc/Fest 2010 – World Premiere
Silverdocs 2011 – Audience Award
IDFA 2010
Tribeca 2011