Audience Honorable Mention | Programmers’ Choice Honorable Mention
Paula Neudorf, Arianna LaPenne
Of the 440,000 kids in foster care in the U.S., more than a quarter is over age 12. Adoption rates for these older kids are abysmally low. What happens when you're “too old” to get adopted?
After 20 years in foster care, Noel Anaya was never adopted. He was determined to investigate what went wrong, and finds the answers in his first documentary film.
UNADOPTED starts with Anaya untangling his own unique story, which leads him to a wider examination that reveals the social welfare system’s silent but pervasive systemic bias against families of color, and teenagers aka “older youth.”
While most young adults look to their parents for answers about identity and upbringing, Anaya turns to court records, social workers, and most importantly,
three California teens who reveal the critical decisions they’re currently making to secure a “forever family” -- or not.
A harrowing journey filled with heart, UNADOPTED is one of my favorite films of the entire festival and I have not stopped thinking about it. Noel is unflinchingly honest in his exploration of his history in the foster system, and uncovers some dark truths. Emotionally gripping, UNADOPTED will leave you wanting to do everything you can to help fix this broken system. — Jillian C (Programmer)
Director: Paula Neudorf, Arianna LaPenne
Executive Producers: Bob Calo, Ellin O'Leary
Producers: Noel Anaya, Ellin O'Leary, Bob Calo, Paula Neudorf
Writers: Noel Anaya, Bob Calo, Paula Neudorf
Cinematographer: Arianna LaPenne
Editor: Hanna Lane Miller
Cast: Noel Anaya
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