the art star and the sudanese twins

Film Awards for The Art Star and the Sudanese Twins

the art star and the sudanese twins follows Vanessa Beecroft’s intentions to adopt orphaned twins, Madit and Mongor Akot, and how this bleeds into her art and her personal life.

Vanessa Beecroft operates in the world of high art and high society. Over the last few years Vanessa has been drawn to Africa and then ultimately to the Sudanese twins she met in an orphanage.

As New York dealer Jeffrey Deitch states, with Vanessa there is no boundary between life and art. Alongside the adoption process she has photographed herself breast-feeding the twins, incorporating them into her provocative work. But what cost to her personal life?

For sixteen months the art star and the sudanese twins follows Vanessa as with an often brutal honesty, she exposes the truth about her life – her creative process, her struggle with depression, her volatile relationship with her husband, and her love for the twins.

Vanessa found the undernourished babies in an orphanage, on her first day, on her first visit to Sudan. She had been breastfeeding her own child prior to flying to the Sudan.

She wanted to ‘save’ them – she spent months trying to adopt them – but is she just another wealthy white celebrity seeking to adopt an exotic child? Vanessa asks herself that same question.

On her return to life with her family in New York and completing her Sudan artwork for an exhibition in Milan, Vanessa tries to encourage her husband, Greg to complete the adoption paperwork. Greg offers her a divorce.

the art star and the sudanese twins is a timely documentary exploring the first world woman’s aspirations to adopt from a developing country. And the risks to her marriage and her career that one woman takes to “save” Sudanese twins.


Sundance Film Festival
Hotdocs, Toronto
IDFA, Amsterdam
Vancouver International Film Festival
International Documentary Festival, Seoul, Korea
Tempo Dokumentari Festival, Sweden
Melbourne International Film Festival
New Zealand International Film Festival
Bergen International Film Festival, Norway
Bird’s Eye View Film Festival, London
Rio International Film Festival
MOMA Director’s Fortnight, New York
Message to Man, St Petersburg, Russia
Institute of Contemporary Art Boston
Miradasdocs Spain
Edinburgh International Film Festival
CPH:Dox Denmark
San Francisco Art Institute


Best Editing, World Documentary, Sundance
Best Director EIDF, Seoul
Special Jury Mention Zurich International Film Festival
Qantas Film and Television Best Documentary Director
Qantas Film and Television Best Festival Documentary
Best Documentary Whistler Film Festival, Canada
New Zealand Film Commission Producer’s Award