Donor Unknown is a documentary feature following the journey of JoEllen Marsh as she goes in search of the sperm donor father she only knows as Donor 150.
JoEllen, now 20, has always known her family ‘wasn’t like other families’. She grew up in Pennsylvania with two mothers, and a burning curiosity to know more about her anonymous donor father. When JoEllen discovers a unique online registry which connects donor-conceived children, she manages to track down a half-sister in New York. The New York Times picks up the story, and, over time 12 more half-siblings emerge across the United States. The article also falls into the hands of Jeffrey Harrison, living alone with four dogs and a pigeon in a broken-down RV in a Venice Beach car park. In the 1980s, Jeffrey supplemented his meagre incoming by becoming a sperm donor at California Cryobank. His number was Donor 150.
Donor Unknown is a uniquely 21st century story. The connections made between the children and their donor dad draw as much on modern technology as on old-fashioned coincidence. While the siblings seem to take their ever-expanding family in their stride, Jeffrey is more apprehensive about meeting some of his biological children for the first time. Funny, moving and surprising Donor Unknown raises intriguing questions about our understanding of parenthood, and the strange power of the genetic imperative.
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