your inner documentary filmmaker…

February 9, 2009


“Oh yes, we just got back from Sundance, it was lovely and the film did well too….”  These are the exchanges in my head when I day dream. We all remember this little period of delusion I had a couple years back. I love film, it feels like the best church…it’s an image, there is music, emotion, a message. Sometimes it’s complicated and deep, other times light and joyous, all of it speaks to my soul. Part of me can’t deny my desire to create it, craft it, enter it.

So then this crosses my path:

Birth Matters Virginia (a non-profit organization that works to improve the culture of birth) is sponsoring a documentary contest with celebrity filmmaker judges and cash prizes of $1000, $500, and $100.

We’re looking for short (4-7 minutes) documentary-style films that will educate women about the choices they have surrounding birth. We live in a culture where epidurals, inductions, and c-sections are common place events, and where women may not know they they have a say in what interventions take place when they give birth.

You don’t have to be a parent or have any experience with birth in order to enter. You just have to have a curious mind and an ability to research birth in America with an open mind and an eye toward exposing audiences to new ways of thinking about birth. Entering will make you eligible for the $1000 first-place prize and could also expose your work to internationally acclaimed filmmakers and documentary producers Ricki Lake and Abby Epstein.

The deadline for entering the contest is Mother’s Day, May 10, 2009. Everything you need to know about the contest can be found here:

You can also join our Facebook group to get updates about the contest and exchange ideas with other participants at

And if you have questions, email Sarah at

And I’m part of the group of women that came up with this very brilliant idea- except I wasn’t there that night, the night when all of this was discussed and decided. Isn’t it screaming for me to do it, to try, to make dreams come true with a 7 minute video that surely will go on to Sundance? I know, I know.  So now I’m mildly tortured because I can’t enter but you can! And your friends can! And other dreamer wanna be indy film people can! Consider this your personal invitation to the rest of your exciting creative life…and if you are still unsure, will you at least pass this on? This thing is gonna be big, I can feel it and you could be the person that was there from the start. We are a Youtube generation, anything can happen.

Go film friends and dreamers, I’ll live vicariously through you until my moment comes….at a minimum, link this for me, will ya?  We need the power of every man, the grass roots, the true wisdom of a gathered people hoping for change.

Feel free to e-mail me if you would like more information.

5 Responses to “your inner documentary filmmaker…”

  1. Em Says:

    So, may I interject that you don’t have to live vicariously? There are times when we get little messages from the universe that say “yes, you should do this. you really should.” This seems like one of those times for you, to me. 🙂 So, while you can’t enter this contest, and perhaps should wait to do a film specifically on this topic until post-contest, you can make a little 7 minute film of whatever topic you’d like!! and put it up on YouTube. All you need is a hand-held video camera, an idea and to RSVP “yes” on that invite from the universe. You never know where that will lead!

    PS: Been lurking for a week or two here, what a cool blog!

  2. Katie Says:

    What a wonderful project. My husband recently moved to Germany. It’s been incredible to hear how women are educated here about birth. It makes me foolish for not knowing… and makes me think maybe North America isn’t the best place for us to have our kids. I think this project isn’t only good, but needed. Thanks for spreading the word. Wish I had some wild movie-making skills.

  3. YMGH Says:

    This is an incredible idea, you can still produce a film without being in the contest! Go for it!!

  4. Sara Says:

    Very cool! I’ve shared this with other women who might be interested.

  5. Sarah Says:

    May I point out that you can totally enter the contest as long as you recuse yourself from the judging panel?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: