BFI to screen non-binary family feature Kindred

The remarkable true story of the first openly non-binary parent to successfully adopt a child in the UK has inspired a stunning immersive film, KINDRED. Starring Hollyoaks’ Ki Griffin, Kindred is now screening, as part of the StoryTrails Residency at BFI IMAX from 23 September to 2 October.

Selected in competition for the Venice International Film Festival 2022 and nominated for two awards at the Raindance Film Festival, KINDRED is an animated virtual reality story of family and belonging.

Highlighting the unique challenges faced by non-binary parents in the UK’s outdated adoption process, KINDRED tells the true story of the brave non-binary parent who helped redefine the meaning of family in this country.

Starring Ki Griffin, known for their portrayal of Ripley Lennox, the first non-binary character to appear in a British soap, KINDRED uses virtual reality to place the viewer inside of Syd’s perspective as they navigate the complexities of the UK’s adoption process, experiencing first-hand the highs and lows of a dream shared by so many.

Created by Electric Skies, the award-winning immersive content production company, KINDRED was written and directed by Bambou Kenneth, marking her directorial debut, and produced by Tessa Ratuszynska. The piece was animated by multi-award-winning animation studio Salamandra.uk and features original music by ILĀ co-founder of the UK’s first ever professional trans+ choir, Trans Voices.

Bambou Kenneth, Writer and Director, said: “When I first learnt about Syd’s story I was captivated by their unwavering perseverance to achieve their dream of becoming a parent, even when presented with systemic hurdles and totally against the odds. That kind of courage speaks to me and I hope to our audience, regardless of their social or political views.”

“KINDRED is a personal story that is highly emotive. It was essential for me to surround myself with a diverse team, so we had lots of people from the LGBTQ+ community with a particularly strong non-binary representation for this project. There was always an open space for people on the team to share their personal take and experiences throughout the creative process.”

“I wanted to use virtual reality to tell this story because there’s a particular intimacy in VR – a unique connection between audience and character – that is quite unlike other mediums.”

Electric Skies was commissioned to create KINDRED by StoryFutures as one of nine projects forming part of StoryTrails, a unique immersive storytelling experience for audiences in 15 towns and cities across the UK in the summer of 2022.