Daddy Don't Go

Captured over two years, “Daddy Don’t Go” is a feature length documentary about four disadvantaged fathers in New York City as they struggle to beat the odds and defy the deadbeat dad stereotype.

The official site of the feature length documentary "Daddy Don't Go" directed by Emily Abt. Captured over two years, “Daddy Don’t Go” is a feature length documentary about four disadvantaged fathers in New York City as they struggle to beat the odds and defy the deadbeat dad stereotype. 

“Daddy Don’t Go” has received Best Documentary Awards from 8 film festivals including the American Black Film Festival, UrbanWorld Film Festival, Rahway International Film Festival, Hoosierdance International Film Festival, Black Cat Picture Show and the Frame4 Frame Festival.  It has also screened at over 35 acclaimed film festivals both domestically and internationally. 

Download the "Daddy Don't Go" press kit here for stills, reviews, our poster and more.


"Every American must see this film. Why is it so heartbreakingly hard—even impossible—to be a decent dad in America if you’re poor? Daddy Don’t Go should sear the nation’s conscience.”

Kathryn Edin, Bloomberg Distinguished Professor at Johns Hopkins University

Daddy Don't Go paints a necessary mosaic of fatherhood through the inspiring stories of four New York City fathers. As an agency, Fathers Incorporated is strengthen by films like this. Daddy Don't Go gives voice and context to the much needed work of building stronger families by investing in building stronger fathers."

Kenneth Braswell, Executive Director, Fathers Incorporated

“This film is a great resource for child welfare systems that are working to implement policy and practice change to improve outcomes for fathers and their families.  It’s a powerful tool to inspire change for how systems work with fathers."

Lisa Primus, LMSW, Senior Policy Analyst, Center for the Study of Social Policy

 “We’re thrilled as one of the largest child welfare agencies in the country to screen Daddy Don’t Go for professionals working with fathers. It was truly eye-opening and inspiring, and made us look at how we serve fathers in a different light."

Sabine Chery, LMSW, Assistant Commissioner, NYC Administration for Children's Services

 “A powerfully moving - and at times heartbreaking - film. Fatherhood is seldom portrayed in this light: men fighting to care for their children against challenging circumstances and in staunch defiance of stereotype.”
Professor Elena Conis, University of California, Berkeley

 "Daddy Don't Go deftly weaves together the forces impacting the lives of disadvantaged fathers." 
 Professor William Julius Wilson, Harvard University

 "A masterful and emotional portrait of fatherhood that brings a deeper understanding of its joys, struggles and sacrifices."
Justin Remais, UC Berkeley School of Public Health

 “In her clear-sighted portrait, Abt maturely and poignantly captures the reality of (her subjects)...A depiction of not only paternal devotion and sacrifice, but also the difficulty of breaking cycles of personal and parental neglect and trauma, this stirring film derives much of its power from its non-judgmental, warts-and-all perspective on its subjects…This nuanced and heartrending work should prove extremely attractive to prominent cable outlets."

Nick Schager, Variety - November 16, 2015

 "An effective response to media conversations that too often make the epidemic of absent fathers seem like a simple case of individual choice, Emily Abt's Daddy Don't Go follows four young New Yorkers who very much want to be there for their children.  Adding the kind of human perspective that is essential in statistics-based policy debates about, for example, America's incarceration rate, the affecting doc will be welcome on TV after its fest run.  Bottom line: This Sympathetic doc offers real-world insight into absent-father epidemic.”

John DeFore, Hollywood Reporter - November 19, 2015

 "Daddy Don't Go challenges skeptics and gives otherwise marginalized men the chance to be appreciated for loving, not forgetting about, their seeds.”

Matt Barone, Tribeca Film - November 10, 2015

 "Daddy Don't Go, the latest from Emily Abt, is garnering attention not only because of its subject matter, but also because of the way it was filmed; Abt followed fathers for over two years in order to delve into the issues that low-income fathers face. A story of perseverance, it is a film that shows viewers how men can still be present fathers despite having limited means and facing certain obstacles.”

Elle Lenonsis, Indiewire - November 10, 2015

 “This new film from director Emily Abt is arguably one of the year’s most touching documentaries. Abt’s film is non-judgemental, instead it offers up four singular stories with a great deal of respect and tenderness given to each respective narrative. It’s an emotional piece of work, but it’s one that had to be made and now needs to be seen.”

Joshua Brunsting, Criterion - November 13, 2015

 “Daddy Don’t Go spotlighted by Basil Tsiokos (Director of Programming)."

Kevin Ritchie, Realscreen - November 10, 2015