Dandelions

After receiving a mysterious Facebook message, American filmmaker Basil Mironer's journey to Russia unveils an emotional family secret, as he grapples with the revelation of a man claiming to be his father.

  • Basil Mironer
    Director
  • Basil Mironer
    Producer
  • Benjamin Felix Mironer
    Producer
  • Flavia Camilla Watson
    Producer
  • Basil Mironer
    Key Cast
    "Basil"
  • Benjamin Mironer
    Key Cast
    "Ben"
  • Flavia Watson
    Key Cast
    "Flavia"
  • Aleksandar Marinovich
    Editors
  • Eric Elofson
    Editors
  • Basil Mironer
    Editors
  • Mitchell Arens
    Cinematography
  • Miriam Arens
    Location Sound
  • Project Type:
    Documentary, Feature
  • Genres:
    Family, Road-trip, Drama, Mystery, Documentary
  • Runtime:
    1 hour 36 minutes
  • Completion Date:
    January 16, 2024
  • Production Budget:
    75,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    Russian Federation, United States
  • Language:
    English, Russian
  • Shooting Format:
    Digital Sony
  • Aspect Ratio:
    16:9
  • Film Color:
    Color
  • First-time Filmmaker:
    No
  • Student Project:
    No
  • Santa Barbara International Film Festival
    Santa Barbara
    United States
    February 12, 2024
    World Premiere
    Official Selection + 3rd Screening
Director Biography - Basil Mironer

Basil Mironer was born in Russia and immigrated to America in the late 80s. He is an award-winning Director and Cinematographer with an MFA in Film & Television Production from New York University Tisch School of the Arts. As a director Basil excels at visual storytelling and character-driven content that explores identity, family, and self acceptance. He won the prestigious Sonje Award at the Pusan International Film Festival, and the DGA Haig P. Manoogian audience award, for his short film Rare Fish. Basil has traveled the world creating and directing videos for clients such as: Bud Light, Hyperloop-One, The Gates Foundation, ClevverTV, Chevy, Billboard Magazine, Verizon, and more.

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Director Statement

Dandelions isn't just a film; it's a story that unfolded in my life, a journey I never anticipated taking. It all started with a random Facebook message from two Russian teenagers claiming a connection—saying their father was also mine. My initial reaction was disbelief, a thought that this couldn't be real. I hesitated, thinking about the potential impact on my family, especially my parents and younger brother.

When the message included actual photos as proof, the shock set in, and the reality of the situation became too hard to ignore. Fast forward eight years, and Dandelions became my way of exploring the truth behind my childhood. As a filmmaker who loves delving into identity, this was the ultimate exploration, a chance to fill in the gaps of my own story.

Filming this documentary allowed me to confront emotions I'd been avoiding. It was difficult, and I found solace hiding behind the camera, but my brother Ben and my partner Flavia reminded me that I couldn’t hide from what I had decided to uncover.

We embarked on a month-and-a-half journey, traveling from Los Angeles to Russia and back, with a natural three-act structure emerging organically. The climax, where we share our journey with my parents, turns out to be one of the most challenging scenes to watch, even after seven years of editing. It reveals the different perspectives within our family, adding layers to the universal theme of familial secrets.

Dandelions is more than a documentary; it's a conduit for conversations about family, identity, and the courage it takes to uncover one's origin. It's an exploration that allows room for forgiveness and healing, an opportunity to bridge the gaps in our own identities.

As you watch the film, you'll witness not just my journey but the universal quest for truth and understanding. I hope Dandelions inspires others to bravely seek out the truth in their own lives - because, in the end, family is worth it.