Why I’m Making A Film About An Adoption That Happened Nearly 100 Years Ago

This guest post is by Jennifer Kachler, a filmmaker.

Since I was a child, I grew up being conscious that my Nana (my Mother’s Mother) was adopted. It was a story she would share with us like the many other stories she would tell us about her childhood.

She was born in 1924 in Maine and adopted when she was 9 months old. She never knew her birth parents or if she had any siblings.

As I got older and understood more about adoption and family ancestry, I questioned her why she never searched for her birth family.

Being the oldest of four daughters, I have a strong bond with my sisters and our friendships with one another are precious.

Knowing that my Nana never had that experience, I wondered what it would be like to live in her shoes during that time in her life when she found out she wasn’t biologically related to her parents.

She always felt that her parents were her parents regardless of their blood relation.


Jennifer, her grandma, and her mother

I strongly believe that family isn’t defined by blood relation because I have aunts, uncles and cousins who aren’t biologically related but they are the definition of family ­ loving, supportive and caring.

As a filmmaker, it is my goal to create films that promote positivity amongst the negativity in this world and invoke change in one’s life.

When I was accepted into the David Lynch MA in Film program to receive my Masters degree in filmmaking I knew I had to create a film that represents who I am as an individual.

When I was questioned by a guest lecturer as to who I am and what I want to say with my films, I instantly realized that the topic of my master thesis film would be on ­ adoption.

My ancestry stems from adoption and I wanted to showcase that piece of my family lineage in a film.

“Kennedy Hill” is a short film set in the 1930s about 17-year-old Grace who finds out she’s adopted. In search of her birth family, she journeys away from home and ends up discovering who her true family is.

The film is inspired by my Grandmother’s story and includes a strong female role of a confident young lady on the verge of womanhood who learns a fact that changes her life.

I wanted to add a bit of myself into the lead role infused with the strength, compassion and honesty my Grandmother has.

Adoption has been very prevalent in my life. My younger sisters have been vocal about adopting children when they are ready to start a family.

I also feel the calling to adopt children when I am ready to begin my own family. But since I am not at that point in my life, I have decided to do as much as I can to raise awareness about adoption through my film.

Being a filmmaker, it is my responsibility to create films that make the world a better place. But if I cannot achieve that through my films, I know I can make a difference as an individual.

Jennifer Kachler is a filmmaker and the director of “Kennedy Hill.” To learn more about Jennifer and her film, visit her website.

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