Starring: Samantha Futerman, Anaïs Bordier
Directed by: Samantha Futerman (debut) and Ryan Miyamoto (debut)

Many people may joke about seeing someone else’s (or their own) doppelganger walking down the street or in a public place, but have you ever seen someone who you truly felt could be your twin? In a random online message, Los Angeles based actress Samantha Futerman was contacted by a French girl who claimed to look exactly like her. With similar adoption stories and a burgeoning personal relationship, Futerman and her look-alike, Anaïs Bordier, investigate whether their bond extends deeper than superficial in “Twinsters.”

The film spans from when Samantha was first contacted up until after the two are able to meet in person, which allows for events to take place over real time with real reactions from everyone involved. As the two begin to bond over text, the pair uses Skype to communicate across Oceans, which is where their relationship really starts to take shape. They form a true long-distance relationship as they do daily tasks such as sit each other at the end of their dinner table on a laptop, introduce them to friends and family, and countless other things. As they contemplate whether they could be separated twins, the two have no problems staying up late and talking for hours, developing their own inside jokes and being insanely goofy the only way truly close friends or family can. The film does a great job of giving backstories and context for each of the girls to show what life was like for their first 25 years and how different their journeys have been thus far.

A strong suit of “Twinsters” is its ability to show how technology contributed not only to the discovery of each other, but the means by which people in this digital age communicate with each other around the world. With similar music and visual representations of Facebook and other technological services, the film version of “Catfish” is an apt comparison for the films stylistic sensibilities, which is a good thing.

It is entirely lighthearted and sweet and nearly impossible to not be wildly charmed by “Twinsters.” Moments such as when Samantha and Anais meet for the first time and adorably giggle uncontrollably while inspecting every facial feature of each other shows the surrealism of the experience through the eyes of its subjects. Though the audience finds out the truth about their relationship (and perhaps a smidge too early in the film), one gets the sense that it truly doesn’t matter if they are twins who were separated at birth or not. As we see the two walk through England holding hands and virtually inseparable, it is abundantly clear that Samantha and Anaïs are bonded for life. It is an absolute pleasure to watch their relationship blossom as “Twinsters’” giant, beating heart mirrors that of its subjects.

For more coverage of SXSW 2015, click here.

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