Louisiana Film Prize 2020 winner: ‘Untitled Post-Baby Project’ is #MomLife101

The 2020 Louisiana Film Prize announces Lorna Street Dopson’s UNTITLED POST-BABY PROJECT as the winner of the $25,000 Grand Prize

A young woman struggles with postpartum depression while trying to adjust to motherhood.

Motherhood. How does one explain the one thing in a woman’s life that allows for the highest of highs and the lowest of lows? There is no manual for raising a human being. Sure, there are innumerable books written on the subject and you’re never short on those wanting to give you unsolicited advice, but until you’re in the thick of it, it is unexplainable. How can you feel an unfathomable amount of love for a person you barely know? Lorna Street Dopson‘s award-winning short film Untitled Post-Baby Project gives the viewer a tiny glimpse into the mind of a Mom. From feelings of inadequacy, elation, anger, frustration, the loss of any sense of self, not to mention the physical transformation. No one tells you how hard motherhood can be, sometimes minute to minute. While Dopson’s on-screen husband Jeremy Sande was one of the most supportive men I’ve seen, I fear some partners may be unable to grasp how to support a mom, especially a new one. The first year is a whirlwind. The editing of the film is actually a perfect metaphor for the inconsistency of feelings that surround everything from lack of sleep, breastfeeding, milestones, personal care, postpartum depression, the list goes on and on. One of the most poignant is the concept of “mom-shaming”, as social media often traffics in the idea of being the “Perfect Mom”. We all know that behind the smiles and baked goods on Instagram, are Moms screaming at kids to “Smile!” or “Don’t touch, I’ll do it!” We’re not doing each other any favors.

As a 40-year-old mother of a 3 and 4-year-old (yes, they’re 15 months apart), this film hit me like a ton of bricks. I had to correct myself while watching. I thought, “Is she really looking at her image and thinking she’s fat?! Are you freaking kidding me?!” Then I stopped and remembered that my own OBGYN shamed me for fitting back into my pre-baby clothes at my 6-week postpartum appointment. And yet, almost 5 years later I STILL hate how my body has changed since then. Untitled Post-Baby Project reminded me to take a step back. Someone who considers herself a “motherhood is tough as hell and you don’t have to pretend to be great at it because we’re all just trying to survive” advocate. I plan on making t-shirts soon. I only recently learned that Postpartum Anxiety is a thing! Mom Guilt is definitely a thing. It’s not all negative, certainly not. Never do you feel more excited than when your child achieves something new or smiles at you. The quiet moments when a baby sleeps in your arms is glorious. It’s all in there. Every last bit of emotion. Lorna Street Dopson has taken a fearless and honest approach to storytelling. It’s an important little film worthy of a big audience.

Produced by Lorna Street Dopson, Jimi Covert, Isaac Fenter
Cinematography by Jimi Covert
Edited by Stephen Bertucci, Lorna Street Dopson
Music by Jacob McSharma
Starring Lorna Street Dopson, Jeremy Sande

Review: ‘Elizabeth Blue’ is Gold!

Elizabeth Blue

Theatrical Release: September 22, 2017

Guest review from Reel Reviews Over Brews

Recently released from a psychiatric hospital, Elizabeth (Anna Schafer) returns to her Los Angeles apartment where she lives with her fiancé, Grant (Ryan Vincent). With the guidance of her new psychiatrist, Dr. Bowman (Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje), and the unfaltering support of Grant, Elizabeth works at regaining control of her mental stability and her life as she begins to plan their wedding. Struggling to navigate daily voices, hallucinations, anxiety, failing medications and her judgmental, unsupportive mother, Carol (Kathleen Quinlan), Elizabeth fears that Grant will leave her as she clings to hope that love will truly conquer all – even mental illness.

Wow… Give Elizabeth Blue all the awards. For Vincent Sabella’s first film, he absolutely nailed it! Mental illness is no joke and Elizabeth Blue shows you that. This is an intimate look into struggling with a mental illness like never seen before. We always see/hear stories about people not taking their medications because they “feel fine and healthy” and this brings us face to face with that struggle through the eyes of Elizabeth. It was very powerful and left us moved by the performances. Anna Schafer as Elizabeth was excellent! She had us completely caught up in her story and her struggle with schizophrenia and OCD. This movie will definitely put her on the map. Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje and Kathleen Quinlan were also great in their selective roles! Everyone knows someone who is, or is themselves, affected by mental illness so this movie will impact everyone in a different way. There are a few scenes we felt could have been cleaned up a bit because they were dragging on, but all in all, that is just nit picking for complaints. It is a must see for everyone. Our jaws are still on the ground! Elizabeth Blue is GOLD!

*Anyone can experience mental health problems. Friends and family can make all the difference in a person’s recovery process. If a friend or family member is showing signs of a mental health problem or reaching out to you for help, offer support.*

Reel ROB Rating: 4.75 out of 5 stars

Post Credits Scene: No

We want to thank our friends at Reel News Daily for allowing us to do this guest review for them!

Review: ‘GOD KNOWS WHERE I AM’ documentary is a tragic look at mental illness.

In January 2008, the body of a homeless woman is found in an abandoned New Hampshire farmhouse. Beside the body, lies a diary that documents the last months of her life. The woman turns out to be Linda Bishop, a well-educated mother and sister who suffered from bipolar disorder with psychosis. What starts as a whodunnit quickly evolves into a poignant exploration of sanity and systemic failure within the mental health system to protect those who cannot protect themselves.

This insightful doc is has a gorgeous structure. Including sit-down interviews with local police, Linda’s family, and narrated passages from Linda’s diary entries, the impact of God Knows is massive. It’s heart-wrenching as you slowly realize that this poor woman’s death could have easily been prevented. The system failed her in an atrocious way. As Bishop descends into starvation and deeper mental state, we already know the writing on the wall, but that does not make the outcome any less shocking. While difficult to watch on many levels, it’s an important and timely film in many ways in our national discussion of how we treat mental illness as a nation. I highly recommend you catch God Knows Where I Am this Friday, March 31st. Check out the trailer below for a peek into this sad true story.

GOD KNOWS WHERE I AM (Trailer) from Brian Ariotti on Vimeo.

Premiers March 31st at Lincoln Plaza NYC Followed by National Roll-Out 

Directed by Todd Wider and Jedd Wider (Producers of Emmy Award-Winning Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God and Academy Award-Nominated Kings Point)

RT: 97 Minutes

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