Cleveland International Film Festival } March 22 – April 1, 2023 } Playhouse Square


Year: 2002
Country: United States
Run Time: 57 minutes

"When I was growing up I figured I would never become a parent. I knew that people like me couldn't have kids of our own ? and I was sure that if I did somehow manage it, the photos of my family would be tucked away in a drawer, not proudly displayed on a mantle. But none of that turned out to be true." DADDY & PAPA is that photo album, and more. Filmmaker Johnny Symon's first-person documentary details the current ?gayby boom,? a mass-movement by homosexual male partners to adopt children and lovingly watch them grow up in stable, two-adult households. Both those parents happen to be men, that's all. But it's not always that simple, as anti-gay state legislation, societal norms and the unpredictable vagaries of the human heart obscure widely accepted definitions of what exactly is a family. Symons' cameras focus on four couples (one of which suffered a ?divorce?), and he includes his own partnership with William and the "non-biological clock" ticking away that compelled them to investigate adoptive parenthood. The topic opens a Pandora's Box of both religious and racial issues, as agencies and Pentecostalist foster parents confront the prospect of two gay, white men adopting an Afro American child. But the overall tone is positive and upbeat, as Johnny and William realize their dream of fatherhood before your eyes, find it more difficult than they ever realized, and love every minute.

Johnny Symons

Johnny Symons, Lindsay Sablosky

Gail Huddleson, Johnny Symons, Andy Abrahams Wilson

Kim Roberts

Film Contact
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