See the world and yourself differently

HitPlay Productions

Next of Kin

More than 60,000 Canadian children are growing up in foster and group homes. Most stop receiving support when they turn 19, and compared to their peers youth aging out of care do not fare well. The majority drop out of school, suffer PTSD and substances abuse, end up on welfare, in jail or homeless. But what if one family connection could alter their future? In Next of Kin Jacob and Tahylour, two youths impacted by the child welfare system, search for their biological families with the help of an innovative program at St. Catharines’ non-profit RAFT. Their stories teach us about the lasting scars of broken families and the urgent need to improve our child welfare system.

Featuring Jacob, Tahylour, Jackie Winger, Amanda Elam, Fatima Moussa, Debra Force, Richard and Joan Archer, Elaine Berwald, Jane Kovarikova.

Produced by HitPlay Productions in association with CBC, and with the participation of CMF, The Canadian Film or Video Production Tax Credit, and the Ontario Media Development Corporation Film and television Tax Credit.


Director/Writer Nadine Pequeneza

Producer Nadine Pequeneza

Cinematographers Stan Barua CSC and Stefan Randstrom

Sound Recordists Jeff Reyes and David Draper

Editor Katherine Chipperfield

Composer Alex Khaskin

  • Next of Kin should inspire audiences to look at their communities and neighbourhoods a little differently - and to appreciate their family members near and far.

    Pat Mullen, POV Magazine

  • How youth support staff are using their sleuthing skills to connect teens with family.

    CBC The Current, Host Piya Chattopadhyay

  • The documentary is an eye-opener into our fraught child welfare system and hints at ways of breaking the negative cycle that so many families fall into.

    Tiffy Thompson, She Does the City

  • A unique program offered by a St. Catharines program for at risk youth is the focus of a new documentary, premiering on CBC.

    Allan Benner, The St. Catharines Standard

Released Films