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Ellen Bruno (San Francisco) collaborating with Kids’ Turn (San Francisco) and fiscal sponsor Maiden Voyage (Half Moon Bay)

Award: $40,000 Media Arts Grant awarded in 2009

Premiered: 2012-2013

Filmmaker Ellen Bruno collaborated with Kids’ Turn to create SPLIT, a one-hour documentary film exploring the inner world of children, ages 6-12, who are maneuvering through the often frightening and always life altering separation of their parents. Studies have shown that children of divorce experience high levels of depression, anxiety, and aggression; and have lower academic achievement and trouble with forming personal relationships. SPLIT is meant to help them process their experiences of divorce.

The film was made from the point-of-view of children, speaking about what is on their minds. Children also created line drawings that serve as animated interstitial elements in the film: young Roma Edwards served as lead animation artist.

For more than 15 years, Kids’ Turn has focused on helping children of divorcing parents, providing them and their parents with communication tools plus coping and problem solving skills.

The winner of numerous international awards as well as Guggenheim and Rockefeller fellowships, Ellen Bruno has focused her attention on homelessness, Burmese prostitution, Tibetan nuns, health care in Cambodia, and other human rights issues. Bruno found Kids’ Turn five years ago, seeking support for her own children during a divorce. The film was shot by Ellen Kuras who previously worked with Bruno in 1987 on the film Samsura.