Theresa Ortolani

Location: Brooklyn, NY
Nationality: USA
Biography: "Theresa Ortolani is that rare and particular type of artist who will not only consistently attempt to grow and define her work in ambitious and challenging ways, but she will ultimately succeed in making them happen – with an astute... MORE
Public Story
Copyright Theresa Ortolani 2024
Updated Dec 2019
Topics Abandonment, Adoption, Aging, Birth, Documentary, Dying/Death, Essays, Family, Film, Fine Art, Loss, Motherhood, Multimedia, Orphans, Personal, Pregnancy/Birth, Travel, Video, Women's Rights
SAUDADE: Name of the Father | 93min Documentary Feature Film

2019 IDA-DCTV Docuclub WIP Screening 10/21/19
2016 PDN Photo Annual Multimedia Grant Winner (6min short)
2015 Visura Multimedia Grant 1st place finalist (6min short)
2015 IPA Honored in 8 categories: (Portrait, Culture, Photo Essay, Deeper Perspective, Moving Image)
2015 New York Photo Festival Winner (Documentary Portraiture)
2015 Seoul International Photo Festival Winner 
(Documentary Portraiture)

A filmmaker ferries us along a self-reflexive investigation of her biological roots, weaving a cinematic dreamscape of intimate, lyrical storytelling. After a lifetime of separation, her birth parents are reunited across oceans by the child they surrendered.

In the decades preceding Roe v. Wade, the middle-American veil of secrecy fashioned to enshroud a birth mother's shame forced women into homes for unwed mothers, coercing them into giving their unborn babies up for adoption and unlawfully sealing their identities. Saudade incises those seals, exposing lifetimes of secrecy and wounding to allow for regeneration.

Text & Images ©Theresa Ortolani

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