Past Event

FILM FESTIVAL A Story of One's Own U.S. Premiere

September 21, 2023
6:30 PM - 8:30 PM
Horace Mann Hall, 551 W. 120 St., New York, NY 10027 Cowin Auditorium, Horace Mann Hall, Teachers College



Amandine Gay, 2021, 100 min. U.S. Premiere
In French with English subtitles
Q&A with director Amandine Gay and Joyce McMillan, moderated by Shanny Peer

Their names are Anne-Charlotte, Joohee, Céline, Niyongira, Mathieu. They are between 25 and 52 years old, hailing from Brazil, Sri Lanka, Rwanda, South Korea, and Australia. These five individuals have something in common: they were adopted. Separated from their family and country of origin from childhood, they grew up in French families. Their life stories and home movies tell an intimate, political story about transnational adoption. This archival film approaches transnational adoption from adopted people’s point of view. 

Amandine Gay divides her time between creation and advocacy. Filmmaker-producer (Speak Up, 2017 and A Story of One’s Own, 2021), writer-scholar (A Chocolate Doll, 2021) and afrofeminist activist (founder of Adoptee Awareness Month in the francophone world), she defines herself as a political author working to reclaim the narrative as an act of liberation. In 2022, she moved back to Montreal to fulfill this ambition by creating a Black owned production company, Caïssa Productions.

Joyce McMillan is a thought leader, advocate, community organizer, educator, and the Founder and Executive Director of Just Making a Change for Families (JMACforFamilies). Her mission is to remove systemic barriers in communities of color by bringing awareness to the racial disparities in systems where people of color are disproportionately affected. 

Shanny Peer is Director of the Columbia Maison Française and co-curator of the film festival.

This film is presented as part of the Columbia University Maison Française 2023 Film Festival, Across Generations: Unveiling the Past, Embracing the Present. The festival is curated by Shanny Peer, Fanny Guex and Ilana Custos-Quatreville and produced by the Columbia Maison Française.  

Additional support is provided by the Knapp Family Foundation and Villa Albertine, and by our festival co-sponsors at Columbia University: Alliance Program, Department of History, Institute of African Studies, European Institute, and Society of Fellows and Heyman Center for the Humanities. The full festival program can be found HERE.

Contact Information

Maison Francaise