http://cdn.itvs.org/donor_unknown-background.jpg
  • A far-flung group of siblings find each other and their father, known only as Donor 150.

    A far-flung group of siblings find each other and their father, known only as Donor 150.

    http://cdn.itvs.org/donor_unknown-trailer.jpgmp4:donor_unknown-trailer-1024.mov
  • Fletcher, JoEllen, Roxanne and Jeffrey on their last day in Venice Beach

    Fletcher, JoEllen, Roxanne and Jeffrey on their last day in Venice Beach

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  • Jeffrey and JoEllen on the day they met in Venice Beach

    Jeffrey and JoEllen on the day they met in Venice Beach

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  • Jeffrey with his pigeon and other birds on Venice Beach

    Jeffrey with his pigeon and other birds on Venice Beach

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  • JoEllen, Roxanne, Fletcher and Jeffrey go cycling in Venice Beach

    JoEllen, Roxanne, Fletcher and Jeffrey go cycling in Venice Beach

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  • Jeffrey reading his Donor 150 profile on camera

    Jeffrey reading his Donor 150 profile on camera

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  • Jeffrey in front of graffiti van

    Jeffrey in front of graffiti van

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The Film

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 that 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.

By chance, 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 parking lot. In the 1980s, Jeffrey had supplemented his meager income by donating sperm for cash at California cryobank. His donor number was 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 stride, Jeffrey is more apprehensive about meeting some of his biological children for the first time. Donor Unknown raises intriguing questions about our understanding of parenthood, and the strange power of our genetic connections.

The Filmmakers

  1. Jerry RothwellDirector
  2. Al MorrowProducer
  3. Hilary DurmanProducer