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Meet the 2015 SXSW Filmmakers #3: A Real Separated-At-Birth Story In ‘Twinsters’

Meet the 2015 SXSW Filmmakers #3: A Real Separated-At-Birth Story In 'Twinsters'

In February 2013, Anaïs Bordier, a French fashion student living in London, stumbled upon a YouTube video featuring Samantha Futerman, an actress in Los Angeles, and was struck by their uncanny resemblance. After discovering they were born on the same day in Busan, Korea and both put up for adoption, Anaïs reached out to Samantha via Facebook. In Twinsters, we follow Samantha and Anaïs’ journey into sisterhood, witnessing everything from their first meeting, to their first trip back to Korea where their separation took place. Twinsters explores the meaning of family and connection through a story that would have been impossible just 10 years ago without the creation of YouTube and Facebook. [Synopsis courtesy SXSW.]

What’s your film about in 140 characters or less?

Imagine there was someone out there you’d never met who looked exactly like you and was born on your birthday. “Twinsters” is the story of Samantha Futerman and Anaïs Bordier, two strangers who discovered they were potential twin sisters separated at birth. All because of a YouTube video.

Now what’s it REALLY about?

Twinsters is about genuine connection, love and family in the contemporary world. 

Tell us briefly about yourself.

My name is Samantha Futerman. I am a Korean American Adoptee and the American twin from “Twinsters”! I was adopted to NJ and moved out to California in 2011 to pursue an acting career. Since finding my sister in 2013, I have been inspired to branch out from my original path of acting. Although I still hope to find roles as an actor, I am now a Producer, Director and the Co-Founder of The Kindred Foundation for Adoption. 
My name is Ryan Miyamoto. I am from Honolulu, Hi and began filming in the surf industry. I aspired to become an underwater surf cinematographer just like my mentor and Uncle Mike Prickett. After attending SDSU for film, I developed a deeper love for film, including both narrative and documentary. I decided to further my career in the film industry and moved to Los Angeles in order to do so. I am currently a Director of Photography, underwater camera operator, Director, and hummus enthusiast.

Biggest challenge in completing this film?

The biggest challenge was Sam’s experience being both a professional and personal one. Even while receiving news, whether negative or positive about her personal life, we still had to take care of business while in production. It was difficult to find the balance, but eventually we figured it all out. 

What do you want the SXSW audience to take away from your film?

We hope that the this film will be a jumping off point. We want our audience to not only be entertained by the remarkable story, but to begin thinking about what family, love and connection truly mean. The nuclear family has a very different definition these days. Hopefully people will also be inspired about connecting to others whether it be on social media, in person or even in thought. 

Any films inspire you?

For this project? “Cutie and Boxer.” We loved the feel of being a fly on the wall.

What’s next?

After SXSW, we hope to distribute the film to every corner of the world to help spreading our positivity. As far as projects, I (Samantha Futerman) have an animated project in the works as well as continuing to run my non-profit organization The Kindred Foundation for Adoption with my co-founder Jenna Ushkowitz.
I (Ryan Miyamoto) am currently in pre-production on a film about ancient Hawaii, that we are looking to shoot within the next year. I am also working on a project that highlights the life of my mentor, Mike Prickett.

What cameras did you shoot on?

Canon C100, 5D Mark III, and various mobile devices.

Did you crowdfund?
If so, via what platform. If not, why?

We conducted two successful campaigns on Kickstarter. 

Did you go to film school? If so, which one? 

I (Ryan Miyamoto) went to San Diego State University and majored in Film, Television, and New Media. I (Samantha Futerman) went to Boston University, but studied Theatre Arts and Anthropology. 

Indiewire invited SXSW Film Festival directors to tell us about their films, including what inspired them, the challenges they faced and what they’re doing next. We’ll be publishing their responses leading up to the 2015 festival. For profiles go HERE.

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