In 1978, when he was ten years old, Chico Colvard found his father’s gun and was playing with it, imitating a cowboy he’d seen on television, when he accidentally shot his sister Paula Colvard. Paula was taken to the hospital, and convinced that she was dying, Paula made a startling statement to the doctor — that for years her father Elijah Colvard Jr. had been sexually abusing her, as well as her sisters Angelika and Chica.
Paula survived, but Elijah was in time found guilty of child sexual abuse and spent a year in prison. Chico hadn’t had any contact with his father for many years when he discovered that Elijah was invited to a family reunion he would be attending. While Chico expected the event would give everyone an opportunity to confront the father about his crimes, the reality was quite different, as Elijah seemed content to act as if he’d done nothing wrong and his sisters were similarly able to ignore their father’s betrayal.
Chico brought a small video camera to the reunion, and the footage he shot that day became part of his documentary FAMILY AFFAIR, in which he examines a shocking and tragic real-life story of abuse and its emotional consequences. FAMILY AFFAIR received its world premiere at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival.