‘Birth of a Family’

Storybook Theatre has created a 50-minute documentary video about navigating healthy birth choices from conception through the “4th trimester” of new life.

Entitled “Birth of a Family,” the video was written by screen play writer Keya Guimaraes with cinematography by Dr. Robert Zelkovsky. It provides, through interviews, narration, 3D models, in-utero images, photographs and dramatic sequences, information for families and caretakers about the choices that are made at the time of birth, in order to help insure a healthy and positive outcome for baby, mom and family.

The World Premiere of this made-on-Kauai video documentary will be Sunday at the Hilton Garden Inn’s Kuhio Ball Room. The event begins at 5:30 p.m. with heavy pupu’s, live music and remarks from the producers of the movie’s importance for new families.

With funding support from the Samuel N. & Mary Castle Foundation and the Hau’oli Mau Loa Foundation, Storybook’s production team interviewed six birthing and medical professionals and six new and soon to be parents about their experiences relating to the birth of children.

Guimaraes, who lived on Kauai from 2007 to 2011 and worked for a time at The Garden Island newspaper, said she wanted to tell a story that when a baby is born, a father, a mother, a brother, a sister, aunts and uncles are also born. There is transformation associated with birth for many people, she said.

A concept of the film is that throughout life, people are birthing new experiences from one moment to the next.

“It’s definitely about the journey of pregnancy,” Guimaraes said. “The gift of a child is that it’s new life, very celebratory, very powerful.”

She hopes “Birth of a Family,” shares that message, especially for young people about to start a family or who have a family.

“It’s really important they understand they will be changed by this,” she said. “It’s something beautiful, it’s something powerful, and it’s hard.”

The entire process of pregnancy is a moment of preparation, Guimaraes said, for everything that parenthood will demand upon you later on — the challenges and the joys of being a mother or a father.

“It’s a holistic vision of understanding that from the minute conception begins, you are growing a human being,” she said. “Your journey as a parent begins then.”

Guimaraes, who has a five-year-old son, pointed out that the premier is on Sept. 11, the anniversary of the terrorist attack.

“It would be a nice thing to go out and see this film that is really about the strength of the ohana,” she said.

People are drawn to infants, Guimaraes said, because they somehow remind us of this essential part of the human journey.

“If you are lucky in this life, you will be born again and again by the experiences you have and you will continue to grow,” she said.

After completing this video Storybook Theatre will then tour the island of Kauai and present the video at schools and community centers free of charge, providing educators, parents and the public with vital information about child development and learning.

Storybook will also facilitate public forums to encourage discussion of how best to help children and their families succeed in the early years of the child’s life.

“Parents and caregivers generally want to be as knowledgeable as possible in this area, but they also do not have the time or luxury to study the latest research, they are busy providing and caring for new mothers their children,” said a press release. “Therefore, Storybook’s production advisers believe public viewings of the documentary video will be well-received on Kauai.”

Tickets to the premier are $20 and will be available at the door.

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