A young woman reunites with her father after he was prevented from raising her, but now is shunned by her mother and sister. She goes on a journey to discover why courts erase parents after divorce, uncovering a shocking truth. This journey will reunite families, including her own.
Millions of children are systematically converted into hostages by the family court system after their parents separate. Years can pass before children can see parents, siblings, and extended family. These lost family bonds create irreparable harm and rob children of their identities. It is one of the largest public health crises in modern times, but it does not receive attention because it is considered a normal part of divorce.
Our documentary Erasing Family will change this perception by shining a light on the most helpless victims of divorce courts: children.
The driving force of our film will not be interviews with experts or statistics but the experiences of young people as they seek out the truth, focusing on the investigation into their own cases. For years these were manipulated and lied to, being told that their mom or dad did not want them, or was unfit to care for them. As they become “aware”, and recognize the forces that caused them to suffer by erasing a loving parent, they will untangle the web of family court corruption, outdated ideologies and government subsidies that prolong family conflict.
Our young protagonists will seek to answer why so many lawyers, social workers and psychologists were unable to help them. Researchers will share findings on how alienation causes toxic stress that negatively affects health outcomes, linking divorce to the ACES (Adverse Childhood Experience Study) movement.
They will discover systems that encourage shared parenting and discourage antagonism during divorce.
The arch of our young protagonists as they move from denial to discovery, from alienation to reunification, will be intercut with interviews with celebrities and short testimonials from alienated children the world over to show that this is a global problem.
Erasing Family will investigate family bond obstruction from multiple perspectives: moms and dads alienated from their children, siblings who can’t see each other, and grandparents who have never met their grandchildren. Our protagonist will talk with those who work to reunite families. But we will also investigate those who work to keep families apart, exposing how money spent persecuting parents should be better used to make separation healthier for children. Our film will be attractive to young people, many of whom are victims but do not realize the impact that being denied loving relationships has had in their lives.
Documentary films are powerful tools that shift public opinion, and Erasing Family aims to move people who are not directly affected to take action by:
- Being available via streaming after broadcast or festival premier, and distributed in family courts, universities and schools with curriculum packets and resources for teachers and students.
- Develop special content for affected young people to encourage family reunification.
- Leverage social media & interactivity to make the message sharable.
- The message of our campaign will be hopeful, focusing on the benefit of reunification and family court reform. Institutions that manipulate family conflict for profit at the expense of children’s well-being will be criticized, not individuals caught up in the system.
- Help advocates pass more shared parenting and reform bills by getting a digital copy to every family court judge, lawyer and professional, as well as politicians.
- Bring our message to NGOs that are working on similar issues, such as strengthening family bonds, teaching children independent and critical thinking skills, domestic violence, working with families in crisis, ACES, anti-sexism (parents should not be judged by their gender), and restorative justice.
- Incorporate public faces to bring our message to a wider audience. PSA with Tamra Judge’s interview and seek other celebrity involvement.
We will leverage our community of followers on Facebook (already more than 9,000 and some of our posts get more than 150 shares) and Twitter to become active participants in the film. Hundreds of people from all over the world have sent in photos with #erased signs which we used to make our first trailer. The Erasing Family team will create a platform for our engaged audience to upload their stories, photos and videos that we can then use in the film to show the wide range of people affected. As filming progresses, we will make live updates and follower´s reactions may be incorporated into the film.
The Erasing Family team is the same behind Erasing Dad (Borrando a papá, Argentina 2014), which made family bond obstruction front page news to drive legislative and court reform in Argentina. It combined the story of fathers fighting to see their children with the testimony of professionals who confessed how they do everything to keep families apart in the name of profit. The expose of court corruption and discrimination caused the film to be censored in Argentina, but people distributed the film via DVDs and the internet. The impact was huge: public opinion now fathers separated from their children as victims of institutional violence.
Now used in university programs, this film has also been part of education for judges in the supreme court of Costa Rica and other courts throughout the region. Most importantly, the film reunited families via court decisions and the actions of young people who saw the film and were inspired to reconnect with their parents.
Ginger Gentile, Director: This award winning director grew up in Long Island, New York and graduated from Columbia University. She lived 12 years in Argentina before returning to the US to be closer to her family. Co-director of Erasing Dad and Goals for Girls: a story of women with balls about the fight of slum girls to play soccer in Argentina has been shown in more than 10 international film festivals and acquired by 80 universities. She has directed more than 70 short documentaries and is a member of the Alliance for Women Directors. Wants no child to suffer from divorce as she did as a teen. www.imdb.com/name/nm3141234/ www.GingerGentile.com
Gabriel Balanovsky, producer: Co-director and producer of Goals for Girls, and executive producer for San Telmo Productions and Erasing Dad. Has been fighting to see his daughter for 13 years and encourages other parents suffering to take their sadness and anger and turn it into fire for the movement. When he isn´t producing, he is speaking with other parents who are suffering and educating judges, lawyers and educators. http://www.imdb.com/name/nm4234454/ www.GabrielBalanovsky.com
San Telmo Productions: Produced Goals for Girls: a story of women with balls, Erasing Dad, and collaborations with Nat Geo, History Channel, ABC, A&E, HGTV and brands like Nike, GE, Gatorade and LG Electronics. A production company with a heart, using its resources to make high impact documentary films. www.SanTelmoProductions.com
Volunteers in the USA, Canada, UK, Australia, Argentina, Spain are all working to spread the message of our film.
While Erasing Dad focused on fathers fighting to see their children, Erasing Family will be told from the point of view of children, and show that fathers, mothers, and entire families, are erased by family courts. It will be international in scope and aim to replicate the impact of Erasing Dad on a global scale.
We have already been researching and writing on this topic since 2010 and have talked to thousands of moms, dads, grandparents, kids effected by family bond obstruction, as well as experts and advocates. We want to move into production as soon as sufficient funds are raised, and our goal is to have the documentary ready in 2017 or early 2018.
All donations are tax deductible in the US thanks to the fiscal sponsorship of Reel Fathers, an NGO based in New Mexico that uses film to encourage active fatherhood. All donations sent via this page will go to the funding of Erasing Family. The more donations we receive, the quicker we can start filming and the more locations we can film as we want to make this as international as possible.