The hit comedy Starbuck features Quebec actor Patrick Huard as an immature man
who discovers he’s the biological father of more than 500 children through his
prolific sperm donations. A slacker, he searches for direction in life through
his newly discovered fatherhood.
The Ken Scott-directed film won the audience award for best narrative feature at
the Palm Springs Film Festival on Sunday. Starbuck was among the host of largely
international movies celebrated at the southern California event.
Middle aged David Wozniak has been a screw-up all his life. He works as a
delivery man (self-admittedly not a very good one) for his family’s butcher
business, he is $80,000 in debt which he owes to less than sympathetic crime
lords, he is trying unsuccessfully to grow pot plants to pay off that debt, and
his girlfriend, a police officer named Valèrie, despite being pregnant with his
child, wants to break up with him for not being there for her in any respect.
She doesn’t want him involved with the child after it’s born since she believes
the child is better off without him in its life. He vows to change his life
around for her and the baby’s sakes. Concurrently, he is informed by a lawyer
representing a fertility clinic that between 1990 and 1992, when he made
multiple sperm donations under the pseudonym “Starbuck” in order to earn some
money (as the clinic paid $35 a donation), the clinic, in an error, used only
his sperm, which has resulted in 533 children who are biologically his
offspring. One hundred forty-two of them have filed a class action lawsuit
demanding that his name be revealed to them. That lawyer and David’s best
friend, a not so adept lawyer wannabe who advises David on the matter, are the
only people who know of David’s unusual situation. With a file folder in hand
with the names and profiles of those 142, David, as that symbolic act to prove
to himself that he is indeed turning his life around, decides to be their
guardian angel in an individual by individual basis without telling them who he
is. As David inadvertently gets more involved in their collective lives than he
was planning, he is torn between wanting to do right by his biological
offspring, doing right by Valèrie and yet unborn offspring number 534, and doing
right by his family, all without divulging his previous identity as Starbuck,
the story of which has taken on a life of its own as it hits the media.