The short animated documentary My Parent, Neal premieres online on The New Yorker’s digital channels today, March 15, as part of the magazine’s award-winning New Yorker Documentary series. The film depicts a conversation between filmmaker Hannah Saidiner and her father, Neal, about his gender transition, which began at age 62. The film presents the evolution of their relationship and Neal’s personal milestones through fluid camera movement, transitions and animated memories.
Created as a thesis film for the CalArts Experimental Animation program, My Parent, Neal consists of thousands of hand-painted and colored frames, which were first traced digitally then drawn by hand. The vibrant rotoscope animation was based on reference footage almost entirely captured in Hannah and Neal’s family home during the pandemic.
“Part interview, part confessional, My Parent, Neal demonstrates the power of honesty within the complexities of family and identity,” said Soo-Jeong Kang, executive director of programming and development at The New Yorker. “The film delivers a cathartic experience as the weight of unspoken truths is lifted.”
The film has screened at more than 20 film festivals internationally, receiving accolades such as the CreativeFuture Innovation Award at Slamdance, First Prize Animation Short at Athens International Film + Video Festival and a Special Jury Recognition at the New Orleans Film Festival.
My Parent, Neal is presented by The New Yorker Studios and is part of the award-winning New Yorker Documentary series, which showcases innovative short films from around the world. Produced by both emerging and renowned filmmakers, the films offer uncommon perspectives on issues that matter. The film is streaming now on The New Yorker’s digital platforms; you can view all the films in the New Yorker Documentary series at newyorker.com.