Baby International Film Festival comes to Nevada City |

Baby International Film Festival comes to Nevada City

Nevada County-based group Birth and Early Parenting Educators (BEPE) presents the Baby International Film Festival (BIFF), a traveling film festival about babies, birth and parenting, on Saturday at the Magic Theatre.

This one-day extravaganza of 10 recent films from around the world will brilliantly document the rise of new images, energies and attitudes about mothering, fathering and birthing today. These are in sharp contrast to the generally false and misleading education from Hollywood movies during most of the 20th century. Some films will also highlight critical issues of birth in modern times like premature birth, infant mortality and the role of fathers at birth.

“The Baby International Film Festival is designed to plant roots of ongoing dialogue and the potential for transformation in your hometown. It opens the door to network and communicate with other professionals and to inspire and provide choices for expectant families,” Festival Director Debbie Takikawa said.

After clusters of long and short films, guest panelists will react and interact with those present. Among the panelists will be obstetrician Claire Leve of Auburn Faith Hospital, record-setting Santa Barbara midwife Mary Jackson, and filmmaker and BIFF Executive Director Debbie Takikawa. Serving as moderator will be Nevada City psychologist Dr. David Chamberlain, an international pioneer in the field of prenatal psychology and author of the book The Mind of Your Newborn Baby.

Prenatal psychology alerts the world to the importance of experiences in the womb and at birth, and the ultimate consequences for both human health and societal well-being, explains BEPE Coordinator Donna Chamberlain.

Two of the films to be shown were produced in Nevada City and involve members of BEPE. Janel Mirendah is producer of a new series “The Other Side of the Glass: Finally, A Birth Film for Fathers.”Mirendah’s film features Nevada City marriage and family therapist Belden Johnson, builder Rob Bell, nurse midwife Martha Turner and psychologist David Chamberlain.

BEPE editor and videographer Charlie Hall filmed a recent interview “Up Close and Personal” by Elisa Parker, KVMR’s host for “See Jane Do” starring Elena Vladimirova, Russian waterbirth pioneer (and a BEPE member now living in Chico) talking with Amber Hartnell. Hartnell’s unforgettable ecstatic waterbirth is seen in two films at the festival and was viewed by a national audience on ABC’s 20/20. She appears in Orgasmic Birth shown at 10 a.m.

Outdoor in the plaza will be sales, displays and BEPE members available to answer questions. Family service organizations are encouraged to bring staff working with pregnancy, wanted or unwanted, and to display literature about their work. Information about Birth and Early Parenting Educators, can be found on its website,

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