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25 Siblings & Me

Duration: 1 x 60' / 1 x 90'

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The incredible story of Oli, a young British man with Asperger’s, who overnight discovers he has 25 brothers and sisters, all from the same American sperm donor.

Keen to be part of this new family, Oli travels to the USA meeting his donor and joining a mass sibling reunion. Full of humour, heart, and hard truths, the film follows Oli as he navigates the fragile dynamics in this new family formation.

Oli, 21, lives in London and has two Mums, who conceived him using an anonymous sperm donor in California. Oli always knew he was donor conceived, but is curious about his biology.

Signing up to a website that helps children of sperm donors find each other, Oli receives an email from someone called Jordan. She reveals she’s Oli’s half-sister, and breaks the news that their donor, Daley, has revoked his anonymity. Then the real bombshell: Oli has 25 American half brothers and sisters. 

Oli is added to a Whatsapp group where he virtually meets his new extended family who are excited about the latest addition to their network. Oli points out, “I don’t get emotional about this stuff. My Asperger’s makes me a bit of a robot”.Within days their online relationship becomes strained as Oli’s strong opinions clash with the strong opinions of his siblings. 

Oli was diagnosed with Asperger’s aged-12. He grew up an only child and sometimes found it hard to fit in and make friends. Oli’s Mum’s Jody describes the effect his Asperger’s has had on him, “He’s hard-wired differently. I know Oli has wanted social connections, but it doesn’t come naturally to him.” 

Oli decides to travel to America, hoping that building relationships will be easier in person. He visits some siblings at home before meeting up with his donor dad and then joining the biggest family reunion to date. Each of the siblings he visits has their own extraordinary story, which is revealed along the way. Will Oli return to London with some lasting sibling relationships? And does he have a future in this extraordinary new family?

Awards:

Broadcast Hot Pick 2020

Realscreen Hot Pick 2020

Expectation TV for BBC2 / BBC3

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