New York City premiere

from the 17th April 2024 was a great success! Thanks to everyone who was involved and who came to the premiere.

John & John with their 2 sons
at the NYC premiere.

 Impressions from the"papa&dada" Swiss Premiere at movie theatre "Otello" Ascona, Ticino

from the 6th October 2023


How is everyday family life different when the parents are not father & mother but father & father? Is there any difference at all? And what makes a family? These are questions the renowned Swiss (canton Ticino) filmmaker Daniela Ambrosoli explores in "papa&dada." She filmed in the USA, Holland, Germany, Switzerland, and Italy, following four same-sex couples over several years: John & John, Mimmo & Christian, Brian & Ferd, and Tim & Josh. The couples share intimate insights into their everyday family life. And what is it like? At the end of the day, exactly the same as that of the conventional family unit with father, mother, and child. They eat together, go on family outings, and the fathers help their children brush their teeth and tell them bedtime stories. Getting children is different: Homosexual men are dependent on adoption or surrogate-mother agencies.

Mimmo & Christian followed their surrogate mother's two pregnancies fastidiously – mainly via smartphone because of the pandemic. Kelly sent them ultrasound pictures or audio messages with the heartbeat of the unborn child. During the birth, the two fathers paced the floor nervously and restlessly. Tim & Josh decided to privately adopt, and they tell how they first came home with their baby: "It was strange to suddenly have a baby without having witnessed the pregnancy. We asked ourselves, are we allowed to have a child?" Brian & Ferd scoured the internet for tips and advice. Unlike heterosexual couples, however, what they found was less than meager, so they founded their own platform in 2014. It is now one of the world's only places to go for gay, bisexual, and transgender fathers and those who want to be. John & John were amazed that surrogate-mother agencies offer a wide range of characteristics a child can have: "You can choose the level of IQ, for example – but all we wanted was to have a happy, healthy child," says John Ruggieri.

The common thread that runs through the one-and-a-half-hour documentary can be described in a single word: love. The film documents not only the love that the partners feel for each other but also the love they show their children. It is unconditional and completely independent of the parents' sexual orientation. Or as Christian & Mimmo say, "Being a parent simply means giving love. Period."

The surrogate mothers are also given a voice. They talk about how it feels to carry someone else's child and thus fulfill a couple's most fervent wish. Daniela Ambrosoli also visited Demis Volpi. The Argentinean is choreographing a ballet piece based on the children's picture book "King & King," in which two princes fall in love. "It's not about homosexuality, but simply about universal love," Demis Volpi explains. Stefan Haupt is also featured in the film. The Swiss director made waves in 2014 with "The Circle," a film about Ernst Ostertag and Röbi Rapp. The couple fought for gay rights in Switzerland for decades. "The traditional family image, consisting of man, woman, and child, is still very much with us – but it is undergoing profound change," says Stefan Haupt.

Daniela Ambrosoli is a specialist for sensitive film portraits. In 2011 she won the Audience Award for Best Documentary at the Beverly Hills Film Festival in Los Angeles for "HN Hermann Nitsch," and in 2018 "The Making of a Dream" was awarded first prize at two renowned festivals.

We would like to thank Mrs. Bettina Secchi for the great article for our premiere of "papa&dada" on the 6th. October 2023 at the Ottelo cinema in Ticino.

Also a big thanks to Mr. Davide Mortinoni LA REGIONE, LOCARNO (TI/CH) for this great press article.


Film stills
Technical specs

Runtime – 91 minutes
Color – Color
Sound mix – tba
Aspect ratio – tba

Country of origin – Switzerland
Original language – English
Other languages – Italian, German, Swiss German
Subtitels – English, Italian, French, German
Production company – Daniela Ambrosoli Productions

Suisa no. – 1617463
ISAN no. – 0000-0006-01DC-0000-6-0000-0000-J

Official sites –, Facebook page of papa & dada

Interesting links:
Jie Lu, Animation Artist from STUDIO DREI, in Munich (DE)

papa & dada show times
1st Swiss Premiere 2nd February 2023 at 7pm movie theatre "Stüssihof" Zurich Switzerland
2nd Swiss Premiere 6th October 2023 at 7.30pm movie theatre "Otello" Ascona Switzerland
  • LA Independent Women Film Awards 2022 Official selection
  • LIFF-Sweden, Lulea International Film Festival 2021 Finalist
  • Love Story Film Festival London 2022 Nominated Best Documentary
  • Fusion International Film Festival 2022 LGBTQ Award Winner
  • East Europe International Film Festival-Warsaw Edition 2022 Award Winner
  • Berlin International Art Film Festival 2022 Nominated Best Documentary
  • New York Independent Cinema Awards 2023 Award Winner
  • Toronto Film and Script Awards 2023 Semi-finalist
  • Poland 14th LGBT+ Film Festival Official 2023 Selection
  • Freiburg Germany 39th Gay film Festival Official 2023 Selection
  • Lonely Wolf Film Festival London 2023. Best Doc Directing, Best Editing & Sound, Best Feature Documentary, Best Queer
  • Festival of Tolerance - JFF Zagreb 18-22th October 2023
  • Infinite Creativity Film Festival Geneva Switzerland 2023 Selection
  • World Rome Cinema Fest - Winner Best Documentary Feature 2024
world sales
Taskovskifilms London (UK)

BALLETT Inteview DA.pdf

Daniela Ambrosoli, daughter of the German dancer Sonja Bragowa and the Italian entrepreneur Pierino Ambrosoli, was born in Ascona, Switzerland. She studies and works in the fields of psychology and medicine in Florence, Zurich and Geneva.

After the death of her father, she learns management and takes over some of the companies that were founded by her father in Locarno (CH) and she establishes her own foundation: The Pierino Ambrosoli Foundation in Zurich, an organization that supports young talents from all over the world in their dance and music training.

Daniela Ambrosoli gets in contact with the world of movies thanks to her children Aliocha Merker (cameraman and still photographer in Rome) and Shary Yantra Marcacci (photographer, film director and producer in Los Angeles).

Filmography: HN – Herrmann Nitsch (2009), The Making of a Dream (2017),
papa & dada (2021)