To learn a little bit more about local filmmaker, Nicolle Littrell, please read below. Nicole will screen two of her films at the Celebrate Midwives and Birth Film Festival and will be present for discussion.
This biography is taken directly from the At Home in Maine website: http://mainehomebirth.wordpress.com/about/
“In December of 2004, I had a homebirth with my son Leo in Montville, Maine. It was a powerful, life-changing and transformative experience. Through my birth experience and the support of the professional midwives who attended me, I developed a faith in myself–and birth–that I had never known before. It changed not only my relationship with myself but how I saw the world. Through reading, storytelling and the media, I also became acutely aware that my birth experience was not the one most women in the United States had.
As I learned more about the mainstream maternity system, I came to know that it was under-serving women and their children. Of developed nations, the US ranks 51st in the world in regards to maternal mortality with similarly dismal rankings in regards to infant mortality. In March of this year, the Center for Disease Control reported the national rate of Cesarean Section rose to almost 33%, following a trend of a steady increase in this procedure.
Prior to the birth of my son, I had been working as a filmmaker and educator; after my homebirth experience, I knew I wanted to create a film that would help educate women and their partners about the choice to have a homebirth; that would challenge marginalizing perceptions about this choice and perhaps, be a part of a reproductive justice movement aimed at transforming the way the US sees and does birth.
The project was first conceived as producing one “conventional” documentary film about homebirth in Maine. However, as I delved deeper into the project, I saw that one film would simply not adequately represent the diversity of the people choosing homebirth, the midwives attending these families and the different issues surrounding homebirth. Over three years time, I had produced six short films about homebirth in Maine. With this realization, I shifted the project vision to building on and adding to this body of work and organizing and distributing the films as an educational/advocacy tool and community-building platform.
In addition to this project, I recently graduated with an Interdisciplinary Master’s Degree from the University of Maine (“At Home in Maine” is my Master’s Project) with a specialization in Women’s Studies; New Media and Communication were my secondary disciplines. I live in Belfast, a funky and beautiful town in the mid-coast area which boasts two thriving homebirth midwifery practices!
In my free time I garden, swim, cook, do yoga and romp around with my 6-year old son Leo and my partner, Jim.”