Samantha Futerman, a young actress living in a nice, upper middle-class neighborhood in Los Angeles, was having the time of her life. She was acting in commercials and short films, dating and sipping lattes and enjoying chats with friends on Facebook, just like millions of other young millennials.

Then one day, along with the usual notes and pictures from friends across town, a strange query popped up on her page from London.

“I was scanning a YouTube video, and your face popped up, and I was struck by how closely we resembled one another.”

The note was from Anais Bordier, a young fashion student living in London. Samantha agreed. They were both of Korean ancestry, both adopted. It gets better, or weirder. Both were born on the same day in Busan, South Korea. Yes, we’re on to something special here, aren’t we?

Futerman was adopted by a nice, middle-class family in Verona, New Jersey, Bordier by French parents in Paris.

There was no doubt about it. They were clearly sisters, but to pursue the issue, a DNA test would be required. Was Futerman interested, Bordier asked? Of course.

Futerman, already deeply immersed in social and Hollywood media, began filming their Skype conversations, as they plowed more deeply into the facts. After a while they grew Internet close, Facebooking, Twittering, YouTubing, until they knew everything except the truth about their birth mother.

As the chats intensified and became a daily routine, they grew closer and closer, sharing intimate details about their daily lives, backgrounds and similar tastes.

Aside from identical features, there were tiny differences. Samantha was the more ebullient one, the giggler, a Hollywood social mouse. Anais, at first, more reserved, a dedicated designer and art student. She seemed moodier. In one remark she said, “Sometimes, as a kid, I felt lonely, and I didn’t know why.”

Before long, they became more like one person, and Anais grew warmer. After weeks of chats and notes, the two flowed into one another until they became one, giggling and making faces, spreading the screen with shared emoji (small icons that express ideas, emotions, tiny smiley and frowning faces).

Finally the inevitable moment arrived. The situation was too powerful to avoid. Shouldn’t they be meeting? Well, duh!

The Futermans were excited. They packed up and headed off to London to meet this charming doppleganger. It was a nail-biting but exciting adventure. The first encounter was slightly awkward. The families all came together and floated around each other like guests at a wedding. There was shocked surprise, then the giggling started again. One of their close friends jokingly remarked, “You guys are already annoying.”

But before long the genes took over. When the sisters took one another’s hands, they noticed that they both shared the identical baby blue fingernail polish. They took long walks together and started holding hands like they were grade school friends. It was a homecoming straight out of a sitcom, and Futerman’s co-director, Ryan Miyamoto, sucked it all up with his ever present camera in this sweet Kickstarter production.

But the details began to matter. With the blessings of both sets of families, the sisters went to South Korea, and in sweet and charming meetings, they reunited with their first foster mothers and the workers at the adoption clinic where they had been separated.

The sad part is that they did not meet their mother, who refused to admit that she had even given them away.

Eventually, back home at a family party, the DNA specialist called and proclaimed, “Congratulations, you’re officially sisters.” We knew at this moment that this was only the beginning of a long and loving friendship.

The film, a Kickstarter production, was cleverly and ingeniously put together with entertaining animation. Jeff Consiglio, the smart editor, won a jury prize at the South by Southwest Festival.

Some of the film, the online banter and post-teen giggling, gets wearing after a bit, but the sisters, walking hand in hand in London and on Korean streets, bring us back to a sweet, sensitive and heart warming conclusion. “If you have tears,” Shakespeare said, “prepare to shed them now” with lots of giggles in between.

Of course, there is a lesson here for all parents of adopted children. In defense of the ubiquitous and often irritating Internet, in the old days of dial phones and pen pal notes, Anais and Samantha would have been forever apart.

J.P. Devine is a former stage and screen actor.

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.

filed under: