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The Orphan

by Carolina Markowicz 

Brazil 15:00

Jonathas has been adopted but then returned due to his 'different' way. Inspired by true events.


“The Orphan” Is a story about a boy who has been adopted but then returned due to his different way. His effeminate manners, speaking more clearly. It´s inspired by true events. I have a friend who worked as a social assistant and she spoke to me once about a boy who was adopted and returned more than one time. I thought the subject was really moving, so I spoke to him, by that time a 20 years old man who was openly gay. I asked him if this aspect had any influence in his unsuccessful adoption cases. And he said that even though nothing was ever told him, he thought so.

Then, with more research on the subject I found out that unfortunately, it´s not an isolated case. So inspired by these brutal situations I wrote the story. When Kauan Alvarenga was introduced by the casting producer, I thought it was a real match with the
character that I intended to create. He was perfectly able to show the deepest emotions but at the same time, he was somehow aggressive, insubordinate, and had some kind of acid humor. He felt like the perfect Jonathas. Besides him, the very experienced and amazing actress Clarisse Abujamra made me really honored when she accepted the invitation to play the orphanage’s director. About the visuals, I wanted it to be the more naturalistic as possible. I thought the characters and the plot, had to be felt the more truthful possible, so I chose to follow them with the camera, never setting a place where they should stay according to cinematography or production design, it was always the opposite: the characters drove the other choices, as I wanted them to feel
free. I also chose the aspect ratio 4:3, trying to raise the feeling of oppression, of less space, praising the unshown, and the unknown. The main point of the film is always unsaid, but the feeling is always in the air.

When I got to know about the existence of some real cases like the one that I tell in “The Orphan”, I was really touched in so many levels. I hope the film can bring some of these many and mixed emotions to everyone who watches it too”


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Screenwriter and director based in São Paulo - Brazil. Her first short film 69 - Praça da Luz (69-Luz Square) won several awards
around the world, including best short film at Rio De Janeiro IFF and was screened at MoMa-NY. Tatuapé Mahal Tower, which she wrote and co-directed, premiered at TIFF-2014. There, Carolina was considered one of the five filmmakers to watch. TMT is one of the most awarded short films of this year in Brazil and has been selected to more than 200 festivals around the world, winning 15
times best film.

In September 2015, she was one of the 10 emerging international filmmakers invited to be part of TIFF Talent Lab, whose mentors were Wim Wenders, Jim Stark, Christine Vauchon and Malgorzata Szumowska. She was selected to Talents Buenos Aires 2016. And Talents Berlinale 2018. Postergados (Postponed) is her third short film, with actor César Bordón (Relatos Salvajes) and Mirella Pascual (Whisky). It has won Best Screenplay at Festival de Gramado and was at official competition at Festival de Biarritz. Namoro À Distância (Long Distance Relationship), her fourth short, had its
World Premiere at TIFF 2017 and American Premiere at SXSW 2018.