The Movie Needed to be Made, So Big Belli Figured Out How to Get it Done

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The New film from Big Belli LLC, 40 Weeks, illuminates pregnancy journey in a week-by-week glimpse into the lives of real women who share pregnancy milestones and health information

After the birth of their daughter, director Christopher Henze realized he could make the movie his wife, Big Belli CEO Dominique Debroux, had been looking for but couldn’t find when she was pregnant. A film, that could have helped in her need for information and community and allow him to show his gratitude and give something back to all women.

Step one: the parents. Big Belli LLC was conceived, with Chris and Dominique as principals, to produce the movie and to create a web-based extension of filmed information that could empower, educate and create a sense of community for expectant moms to have the healthiest pregnancies possible. Step two: 40 Weeks. The film idea gestated, underwent testing, and was discussed and researched until the way to tell the story became clear and took shape. Even though the plan for the scale, scope and tone of the film was set, the financial backing was elusive.

With their mission defined, Christopher and Dominique did the logical thing and approached Hollywood production companies specializing in documentary filmmaking. The response was that the film was not political or causal enough to be of interest. So they turned to TV film production companies, but many of them wanted a more exploitive “reality show” style for the film.

Big Belli believed in the importance of the supportive mission of the film and company. Therefore, Dominique and Christopher realized the best way to accomplish their task was to partner with companies who had the same ultimate goal: giving moms-to-be access to the best information to have the healthiest babies possible. Companies that put the interests of the families first, to ensure the moms-to-be were taken care of, would make the best sponsors.

Big Belli has been fortunate to find some great sponsors who are well versed in the world of pregnancy and moms. As families and women move throughout their pregnancy journey, they need information as well as goods and services they’ve never before considered. They may want to make changes to how they’re living their current lives. The movie, in partnership with expert organizations and sponsors, will provide information to help them make these decisions.

A family may already have a favorite toothpaste they’re content with. But may not realize that when a woman is pregnant, she is 60% more susceptible to gingivitis, which can be a factor in pregnancy loss and pre-term labor. Crest Pro-health is onboard to inform families of how to best take care of dental hygiene. They probably clean their home with certain products, ones they’ve used for years. But with a baby on the way, families might want to explore Seventh Generation’s plant based cleaning products, and baby wipes free and clear of fragrances, parabens and phthalates. While mixed messages prevail about diet and nutrition during pregnancy, studies and government guidance continue to highlight the importance of omega-3 fatty acids found in fish for the brain development of the baby. Nonprofit organization, the National Fisheries Institute seeks to clear misperceptions about eating fish during pregnancy – and make eating fish simple through craveable recipes and useful resources for mom. In addition, the CitraNatal® family of products provide vitamins and minerals to supplement a healthy diet.

There are also things growing families never had to consider before: life insurance, for example. Big Belli is very happy that Gerber Life Insurance is a sponsor who offers information on how to prepare for baby’s future. Families will need to learn about diaper rash and how to manage it. Dr. Smith’s® Diaper Rash Ointment will provide answers. Should you, or shouldn’t you, bank your baby’s cord blood and what does that mean? Cord Blood Registry will illuminate the options and process to ease your mind.

These amazing sponsors – and more – made this film a reality so that Christopher and his team of talented and respected professionals could score, edit and craft the movie in an intimate and personal manner. Among them are Executive producer Kurt Engfehr (“Bowling for Columbine”, “Fahrenheit 9/11”, “Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead”), Casting Director Lisa Singer (“The Bachelorette”, “Queer Eye”), and Editor April Merl (“2012: A Time for change,” “The Yes Men Fix the World”) who join Henze in telling this story.

The film’s December launch will be preceded by a series of topic-specific web videos to introduce the film’s families and provide a sneak-peek into the film itself. Many of Big Belli’s sponsors and partners will be involved in these videos as well – launching on a YouTube channel (embed URL) on [insert date] and available on the website.
40 Weeks invites audiences to sign up to be in the know about premiers and opportunities to meet the families featured in the film. To learn more and watch the videos, please visit http://www.40weeksthemovie.com.

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Samantha Wenig
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