Expecting Sunshine Documentary Crowdfunding Final Push

I am incredibly grateful to everyone who donated to the Expecting Sunshine crowdfunding campaign back in December 2015. At that time we raised $20,000 of our $25,000 budget. My team and I have been responsible and frugal with those funds, while still making the best film we can. My goal is always to create art that is distinguished in quality, content and innovation. This project fulfills that mandate.

At the same time, I now recognize how realistic my initial budget was. We have just launched another FINAL PUSH crowdfunding campaign to raise the final $5,000 needed to complete the film.

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Expecting Sunshine is starting a movement toward healthy expressions of grief, community support, and cultural awareness. This project will make a difference in the lives of countless mothers, fathers, and families. The film has raised $20K on IndieGoGo and this is the FINAL PUSH. These funds are critical to conclude the editing and post production. Help us finish strong! Thank you!

It will make a lot of mamas feel permission to grieve and to talk about their losses.

– Leanne Brooks, Bereaved mom to Eli, early viewer of Expecting Sunshine

Exposing the journey of grief, healing and pregnancy after loss, Expecting Sunshine is a creative and touching film, documenting an actual pregnancy, and sharing real stories of bereaved mothers and fathers, researchers, advocates and medical professionals.

The funds for this FINAL PUSH go directly toward editing and post production. We are working with the talented and visionary editor, Adam Kidd of Limbo Editing services, winner of “Best Editor Non-Fiction over 30 Min” at the 2009 Ampia Awards.

Please help us finish strong!

About the Project:

Expecting Sunshine the Documentary tells the story of over twenty mothers and fathers, and families, framed within the intimately-exposed experience of writer and artist Alexis Marie Chute. Alexis Marie sets out to rediscover her identity as a mother – and as a woman – after one of the most primal types of loss; that of her newborn at birth. The documentary takes place within the forty-weeks of Chute’s pregnancy after loss. Through artistic visuals, profound interviews, “luminous prose and with such clear-eyed insight,” Alexis Marie reveals the turbulent 40-week experience of having a baby after losing a baby. Expecting Sunshine “makes death a starting point for the continuation of life.”

What We Need & What You Get:

We are crowdfunding for the final $5,000 Canadian needed to finish the editing and post-production work on Expecting Sunshine documentary. That’s only $3782.50 American!

Please see our lovely pie chart for the break-down of our overall crowdfunding budget.

With every contribution, it is not only a financial gift to bring the vision into being, but it is also a public statement that this topic matters; that it needs to be talked about and that there is strength in community! Thank you for your support!

OUR PERKS:

We want to honor our contributors and their unique needs through the types of perks we offer. We have created ways to celebrate children no longer with us, and the ‘Rainbow Babies’ that came after them. The perks also range from limited edition signed books and bookmarks to a VIP evening at the film premier.

In the end, though, we realize that contributing to the success of a truly meaningful project is the greatest reward. Thank you for making this film possible!

STATS:

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Approximately one in every five pregnancies end in miscarriage.

World-wide, there are about 3.3 million stillbirths per year.

“About one in every 160 pregnancies in the U.S. ends in a stillbirth, which adds up to about 26,000 each year nationwide,” according to an article in Scientific American. 

The loss of a child after 28 weeks of pregnancy, or during the first week after birth, occurs with a 0.6% frequency according to Statistics Canada, which accounts for almost 2,500 deaths per year.

“SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome) is the leading cause of death among babies between 1 month and 1 year of age,” equalling approximately 2,000 deaths in the United States every year according to the National Vital Statistics Report.

What do these statistics mean in practical language? They equal a huge number of people that are affected by miscarriage, stillbirth, SIDS and other types of losses of children – every year, around the world.

Alexis Marie Chute and her film crew for Expecting Sunshine believe that family is everything. Children are incredibly important, and their deaths leave a profound gap in the hearts and lives of not only their parents, but their extended families and communities.

We believe in celebrating each child’s life, however brief, and honoring the individual experience of grief.

What many do not realize is that pregnancy after loss is an incredibly difficult time. Some believe it is a natural state of moving on or a helpful distraction to conceive after loss. On the contrary, it often brings to the surface many unaddressed issues, relational strains and fears.

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MORE ABOUT THE FILM:

Expecting Sunshine the Documentary chronicles Alexis Marie Chute’s experience of surviving pregnancy following loss, and navigating the delicate balance of anticipation and anxiety.

As an artist and writer, the perspective Alexis Marie brings to this project is a surreal and intimate one. She invites viewers into her creative perceptions of grief and healing, presenting her darkest days and also her moments of hard-earned resiliency and triumph. Any parent and anyone who has lost a person they love will connect with her reflections and be inspired by her stubborn determination to find the sunshine and the hope in times of personal trials.

Why this project is meaningful and needs your support:

In 2010, Alexis Marie Chute’s son Zachary died at birth. He had a random genetic condition and a large tumor around his heart. Doctors predicted that Zachary would be stillborn, but he was born alive. He never made a sound or opened his eyes. Alexis Marie and her husband Aaron rocked and sang to Zachary. They only had a moment with their son before he died – and that was the moment that changed their lives forever.

When Alexis Marie got pregnant again with her next child, at first she was thrilled. Soon, though, that excitement turned into worry and a debilitating fear for her next baby. In those forty weeks that followed, she realized she needed to address her grief for Zachary, which she had buried, before the birth of the child that followed. That is when Expecting Sunshine the Memoir was born; it became a creative narrative of survival. The book was released April 2017 and has already garnered powerful reviews and four distinguished awards. Expecting Sunshine the Documentary is the visual and literary manifestation of the book.

The topic of Expecting Sunshine the Documentary is often taboo and uncomfortable for people who have not experienced this type of loss – which is exactly why there is a need for this film. Many do not know what to say or how to empathize with the bereaved parents, despite wishing to help. What that means is that families can feel isolated and suffer in silence – especially when they struggle with subsequent pregnancies.

This film will encourage discussion, community, and healing for a huge number of people. It will start a dialogue. It will shed light on a secret pain. It will be an education on healthy (and not-so-healthy) approaches to grief and healing. It will also show how creativity can be a balm to the wounded spirit. In this way, Expecting Sunshine will speak to viewers on many levels.

Other Ways You Can Help:

Please help us spread the word about Expecting Sunshine the Documentary! You can do this by telling your family, friends and colleagues about the project and telling them about our Indiegogo fundraising campaign. Join in and be a part of the buzz! We appreciate every email, phone call, tweet, and post made on our behalf. Thank you in advance!

Share our website: www.ExpectingSunshine.com

Like us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/expectingsunshine

Follow us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/expectsunbook

Subscribe to our YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/AlexisMarieChute

Learn more about life (and pregnancy) after the loss of a child on Wanted, Chosen, Planned: http://www.wantedchosenplanned.com/