Director - Editor - Cinematographer
Family Portrait in Black and White

Family Portrait in Black and White

Family Portrait in Black and White

2011, 87 and 52 min


Produced by Interfilm Productions, producer Boris Ivanov

Sundance Film Festival, Hot Docs, LA Film Festival, IDFA, Hamptons, Cleveland, Seattle Film Festivals and many more.

The reality of growing up as a bi-racial child in Ukraine, a rare and truly visible minority, is not for the faint of heart.

Family Portrait in Black and White follows passionate supermom, Olga Nenya, during three turbulent years that see her brood of 17 foster children grow into adolescence. Unlike many in Easter Europe, Olga holds no racial prejudices as 16 of her foster children are bi-racial, results of taboo relationships between local Ukrainian girls and African students. Olga is a loving mother but she is no Mother Teresa. Raised by the Soviet regime, she believes in communal responsibility over individual freedom and runs the family with Stalin-like authority. Her parental limits are tested daily and her iron-fisted ways become a refuge for some and prison for the others.

Forced to constantly defend themselves from racist neighbors and skinheads, these children have to be on guard against the world that surrounds them. The film is a multi-dimensional portrait of one family, the country they live in, and the bigger world they are a part of.

”Grand Prize: Best Canadian Feature Film”, HOT DOCS Film Festival – 2012

“Cultural Diversity Award” and “Time of History Third Prize” Awards, SEMINCI Film Festival – 2012 (Spain)

Audience Award, MIRADASDOC Film Festival - 2012 (Spain)

“Jury Award – Best Documentary”, ADDIS Film Festival 2012 (Ethiopia)

Nominee: Best Feature Documentary, GENIE Awards (Canada) 2012

Nominee: Best Feature Documentary, HAMPTONS Film Festival 2012

“Engaging docu. Well-crafted, nicely scored.” –Variety

Critics Pick “Family Portrait is Riveting”-LA Weekly

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Variety Sundance Film Festival review