About this project
Still Born, Still Loved : The Life Within Us
This is a feature length documentary looking at parents' journeys from the heartbreak of stillbirth, to acceptance, finding happiness again and a joy in living.
How do you carry on when the baby you’ve been waiting months for dies before you had the chance to ever really know her? When on the day you were supposed to be bringing your baby home, you have to carry a tiny coffin and see him buried in the cold ground? What happens to all the love you feel for your child? How do you move forward with your life with a heavy heart and empty arms?
This documentary goes right to the heart of the human suffering caused by the death of a tiny baby. There is no greater suffering for any parent to bear than the loss of their child. We will tell the parents’ own stories, combining our beautifully shot footage and their own photographs and video footage of the only precious hours or sometimes days they will ever have with their child.
Our film is special because each of the stories within it has a powerful, life-affirming message, as the parents involved work through their suffering to accomplish something really spectacular in memory of their baby. Despite the tragedy in the film, the outcome will be uplifting and inspiring, and will highlight how even the most vulnerable of people can shine in the face of adversity.
Our challenge is to find the light within the darkness. To show the humanity and humour that enables the parents, and our audience, to find their way through this sorrow to a place of acceptance, happiness, laughter and a joy of living.
Watch our pilot here:
The Creative Team
The Writer/Director/Producer is Debbie Howard of Big Buddha Films, an independent film company in Sheffield, UK. After twenty years as a professional actress, Debbie moved over into Directing. She has made many short films to date, winning several awards and nominations. She won Best Producer for her short film Pussy which looked at sexual bullying, she won Best Comedy for her film Bring Me Joy, various nominations and Special Mentions for her short documentary Black or White? and her children's film The Girl With the World in Her Hair has just been selected for the UK's shorts collections Film Club by the British Council. Her last short Peekaboo, has just won an Honourable Mention for story in the USA. You can see all of Debbie's work on her website.
The Exec Producer is Colin Pons of Studio of the North who has worked in the UK film and TV industry over the last twenty five years. Amongst the 26 feature films Produced, Executive Produced or Mentored are the BAFTA winning “This Little Life” (Director Sarah Gavron ) and the much acclaimed “Acid House” (Director Paul McGuigan), “The Darkest Light” (Directors Simon Beaufoy and Bille Eltringham), “HUSH” (Director Mark Tonderai) “iLL Manors” (Director Ben Drew) and feature documentary “Zoned In” (Director Daniela Zanzotto) which won the Tribeca audience award for documentary. Short films include BAFTA winners “Shadowscan” (Director Tinge Krishnan), “My Wrongs # 8245-8249 & 117” (Director Chris Morris) and the much acclaimed “Kissed By Angels” (documentary Director Daniela Zanzotto), Hands Solo (Director William Mager) and Cannes nominated “Better or Worse” (Director Jocelyn Cammack).
The Line Producer is Polly Perkins who,since graduating with a 1st degree in Film Theory and Production, has worked on a variety of TV and Film projects, such as Channel Four's TFI Friday and Reg Travis's reknowned short, Self Help. She has developed an expertise in project management and practical creativity. Her recent focus on publicity and PR, whilst working in Development & Marketing for Studio of the North, means she offers us a complete package of both focused industry knowledge of Exhibition and Distribution and broader skills and contacts. She also lectures on Film Production on Undergraduate and MA courses.
Our Director of Photography is Emma Dalesman and our Sound Recordist is BAFTA nominated Grant Bridgeman.
Christine Bell - Executive Producer, Vanessa Thatcher & Alice Jolly - Associate Producers - 3 of our very kind sponsors.
What we need to raise financially
We have raised £45,000 so far. We used the first £10,000 to buy additional film kit and shoot the first phase of our film with the two familes featured in our pilot. We then received a £35,000 grant from The South London and Maudsley Charitable Fund. This has enabled us to continue shooting into phase 2. Our total budget for the film right through post production is £90,000, we still have another £45,000 to raise to finish every stage of the film and £20,000 to finish shooting. We placed a £5,000 target to make sure we reach our goal, but we need to raise much more than this, so please still donate if we have reached our goal.
This film follows on from our short fiction film Peekaboo starring two of the UK's finest actors Lesley Sharp and Shaun Dooley.
"After completing Peekaboo, I felt very
strongly that there was so much more to say on this subject. I felt
that these parents should speak for themselves. This subject matter is
not popular, but these stories must be told so that people understand
what happens to someone when their baby dies. I feel utterly compelled
to make this film and break the silence around baby loss. This is my
"A wonderfully tender and compassionate
articulation of love and loss. Peekaboo unwraps the layers of grief and
emotional reconciliation with heart breaking precision and
Caroline Cooper Charles, Creative England
See the trailer for Peekaboo here
Keep up to date on our Big Buddha Website here: http://www.bigbuddhafilms.co.uk
Join us on the Still Born, Still Loved website here:
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Seventeen families lose their babies to stillbirth every day in the UK alone. Please help us break the silence. Thanks.
"Thank you for what you are doing. When I lost my little girl, I had no idea that losing my child in the way I did was even possible - not really. It wasn't mentioned, there was no warning. And then to go on to find out how common it really is really frustrated me. Awareness needs to be brought to this topic. Something needs to change.
I look forward to tracking the progress of your project. Strength and light to you as you embark on exploring one of the most cruel losses. And thank you again for taking it on."
With love, Cath Adelbert, Sydney, Australia
Risks and challenges
Our main challenge with this film is to cover a very delicate subject matter sensitively, without being sensationalist. It is a challenge to raise the funding because the subject matter is still very much a taboo. I believe this is even more reason to make this film. It needs to be talked about.
We are tackling this by choosing stories that show the healing and the positivity as well as the sadness. It is important to us to maintain a balance so that audiences will want to watch the film and that there will be lightness and humour that our audience can engage with. We believe we can achieve this because the families in our film are such amazing people, that inspire others and show that it's possible to find happiness again after such a tragedy.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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- (45 days)