In the Family

Joanna Rudnick navigates an uncertain world knowing that she has an 85% lifetime risk of breast cancer and a 60% lifetime risk of ovarian cancer.

In the family 01
Series
POV
Premiere Date
October 1, 2008
Length
60 minutes
Funding Initiative
Open Call
  • Nominated laurels-r Created with Sketch.
    2009 News and Documentary Emmy Awards-Outstanding Informational Programming Emmy
  • Rudnick joanna filmmaker bio
    Producer/Director

    Joanna Rudnick

    Producer Joanna Rudnick is a documentary filmmaker with the award-winning, social-issue documentary film company Kartemquin Films. She recently completed her directorial debut In the Family, a nominee for the 2009 Emmy Award for Outstanding Informational Programming—Long Form. In the Family premiered at SILVERDOCS in 2008, was broadcast Show more nationally on PBS' P.O.V. the same year, and was a finalist for the NIHCM Foundation's Health Care Radio and Television Journalism Award. She is currently producing two feature-length films for Kartemquin, Prisoner of Her Past, and A Good Man, and developing a documentary on photographer Rick Guidotti, who left the fashion world to photograph kids with genetic conditions. Joanna has been working in documentary filmmaking for a decade. During her tenure at the American Masters series at WNET in New York, Joanna co-produced Robert Capa in Love and War, which was broadcast on PBS and the BBC, premiered at the 2003 Sundance Film Festival and was the presenting film for the 2003 Emmy award for Outstanding Nonfiction Series. Joanna holds a master's degree from NYU in Science and Environmental Reporting and a bachelor's degree from Northwestern University. She is an adjunct professor at Medill School of Journalism teaching a class in documentary filmmaking. Show less

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    Quinn gordon filmmaker bio
    Producer

    Gordon Quinn

    Artistic Director and founding member of Kartemquin Films, 2007 recipient of the MacArthur award for Creative and Effective Institutions, Gordon Quinn has been making documentaries for more than 40 years. His producing credits include such award-winning and highly acclaimed films as Hoop Dreams; Vietnam, Long Time Coming; Golub; 5 Girls; Refrigerator Mothers; Stevie, Show more for which he won the Cinematography Award at the 2003 Sundance Film Festival; and The New Americans (for which h also directed the Palestinian segment). Most recently, Quinn executive produced Mapping Stem Cell Research: Terra Incognita; At The Death House Door; Milking the Rhino; In the Family; and Typeface, as well as directing a film on delayed posttraumatic stress syndrome, Prisoner of Her Past. Show less

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    The Film

    In the Family follows filmmaker Joanna Rudnick as she navigates the uncertain world of genetic testing. With the knowledge in hand that she has an up to 85 percent lifetime risk of breast cancer and an up to 60 percent lifetime risk of ovarian cancer, she must weigh what measures to take to prevent the disease suffered by generations of women in her family. As she turns 32, she balances dreams of having her own family with the unnerving reality that she is risking her life by holding on to her fertility. Joanna looks to other women who carry the BRCA mutation to help her understand her options for the future. She learns about great strides in prophylactic breast surgery during impromptu “show and tells” and finds a sense of belonging in this new community of women. Along the way, she also explores the legal, ethical, psychological, and social complexities of genetic testing for a disease that has no cure and for which the only proven preventative measures involve removing healthy body parts.

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