It's National Adoption Month! New Adoption Video Wins Film Advisory Board’s Award of Excellence, Screens at NY International Film Festival

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Since 1976, November has been National Adoption Month. And again this November, the national media will focus on this very important subject, which undoubtedly is of interest to millions of viewers or readers. Â?'I Have Roots & Branches'Â?Personal Reflections on Adoption", an award-winning documentary film, fits the stated goal of National Adoption Month to raise awareness about adoption and, in doing so, encourages AmericaÂ?s families to become adoptive parents.

November is National Adoption Month and the 20th is National Adoption Day, when judges around the country will swear in thousands of new adoptive families. This is the perfect time to consider this unique film, a true celebration of the “roots and branches” of adoption!

Director/executive producer Flory G. Herman’s documentary “'I Have Roots & Branches'…Personal Reflections on Adoption", just screened at the New York International Independent Film & Video Festival ("NYIIFVF") on November 13th. The NYIIFVF features films and videos from around the world, including Canada, Spain, France, China, Germany, Brazil, Ireland, England and the U.S.

While the media often focuses on more sensational or negative adoption stories, this film focuses on the ordinary and extraordinary faces of adoption whose stories usually go untold. There are currently more than one million adoptees living in the United States. Approximately one in six individuals in the United States has been affected by adoption or knows others who have been. With so many people who have been touched by adoption, there will likely be great interest in this film's celebration of the real faces of adoption and an opportunity to learn about the availability of this video. It fills a unique niche as it is a video form of a positive adoption story(book). Very few videos with a general positive message about adoption are available for sale. Adoptive families are always very interested in new and exciting resources about adoption to share with their children.

This beautiful adoption documentary, winner of a 2004 Film Advisory Board Award of Excellence (recognized worldwide for quality family/children’s entertainment) joins the ranks of large budget Hollywood productions like Disney’s “Finding Nemo”, New Line Cinema’s “Elf” and “Secondhand Lions”, Columbia Tri-Star Pictures’ “Radio” and many other well known videos released on DVD like MGM's “Agent Cody Banks” and Twentieth Century Fox’s “Ice Age” etc. which have also received this honor. Herman spoke personally with Elayne Blythe, President of the Film Advisory Board, who congratulated Herman and wrote “your subject provides a better image to the public and needed now!” More information about the Film Advisory Board, its rating system and its prestigious Award of Excellence can be found at http://www.filmadvisoryboard.org.

“Roots & Branches…” had its premiere screening on February 28th to a standing room crowd at the University of Buffalo as part of an ADOPTION FAIR. The screening opened with a live performance by Mir Ali, who wrote, performed and recorded the film’s original score. Mr. Ali is known for his performances and master classes which have taken him to three continents where he is greeted with standing ovations and critical acclaim by audiences and music critics.

This remarkable film about adoption emphasizes the feelings from the adoptee’s perspective…it is less of a “how to adopt” or process of adoption, but rather an inside “up close and personal” look at children growing up, their feelings about themselves, their connection to and love for their adoptive families, their thoughts on adoption and their birth families, reflections on how adoption has impacted their lives, and their goals and aspirations for the future. In the film, adoptees ranging in age from childhood to adulthood share their deepest thoughts and emotions on the adoption experience which has profoundly shaped their lives and those of their loved ones. The film conveys a positive, encouraging and honest message about adoption, and is most appropriate for children. Viewers will find out first hand how it feels to have been adopted and discover that all children have common experiences growing up in their homes, surrounded by the families they know and love. Families formed through adoption, prospective adoptive and birth parents and professionals in the adoption community should not miss this wonderful film. The video is appropriate for schools and libraries as a resource for adoption education.

Some of the focal points of the film include a magnificent tree that represents the roots (biological family) and branches (adoptive family), and a touching closing scene where the adoptees read each line of the famous poem: “Legacy of an Adopted Child” in a limbo setting surrounded by black, dissolving from one face to another as they recite the poem.

The film is available on DVD and VHS for purchase through http://www.adoptvideo.com as well as Amazon.com and many other adoption related websites. Herman’s film will soon be available in major retail outlets such as Media Play, Barnes & Noble, Borders etc. The nationwide distribution is the result of an agreement between Herman and Tapeworm Distributors, a leading independent distributor of premiere quality home entertainment products.

Flory G. Herman, an adoptive parent herself and member of the prestigious American Academy of Adoption Attorneys (http://www.adoptionattorneys.org) since 1994, currently serves as a private adoption consultant to Adoption STAR, Inc., a non-profit authorized NYS adoption agency (http://www.adoptionstar.com).

Flory was recently was the featured guest on the nationally syndicated radio talk show “Let’s Talk Adoption” (VoiceAmerica.com, Aug 10, 2004) and appeared on Channel 7’s AM Buffalo (August 24th) and PM Buffalo(August 30th). Here’s what radio talk show host and author Mardie Caldwell says of the film: “A fine film that made me laugh and cry. What a wonderful dedication to adoption-Thank you Flory for creating this wonderful quality presentation for us all. A wonderful gift for anyone touched by adoption."

As Flory Herman passionately states; “We want children to know that if they were adopted, it is a wonderful lifelong journey. Let us all celebrate the roots from which they come and the branches that mold them into who they are and where they will go. The roots & the branches…..the tree……it is their legacy- two different kinds of love. This film rings true to the celebration of their legacy.” To learn more about Flory or “Roots and Branches...”see http://www.adoptvideo.com.

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