Do babies have secret lives? Can a fetus hear and experience what is happening around her mother? Serita Stevens, author of the Unborn, an Edgar nominated short story, now adapted into a short film and soon to be a feature, believes so.
The story of The Unborn centers around young Janey, who while in utero, experiences the domestic violence played on her mother, Jane by her father, Eddie. Despite what the stereotype says, abusers do not have to be drunk or on drugs to be violent and neither is the case with Eddie. Jane, the mother, knows that she should leave. She is supported in her desire by Martin, Eddie's partner, who is also in love with her. But she is afraid that Eddie will search her out and find her. He has often threatened that if he can't have her, no one else can.
Like most abusers, Eddie is insanely jealous and trips over small, seemingly insignificant things like waterspots on silverware. He's fanatical about a clean house and continually downgrades his wife's esteem until she has no longer any backbone to stand up to him.
Little does Jane realize that her daughter is absorbing all this from her safety inside the womb.
As Jane lays dying, young Janey's will to survive surfaces and she is born by an emergency C-Section. Her will to get revenge for the death of her mother is what keeps her going.
The story, for Serita, is a very personal one having, herself, lived through both a violent father and abusive husband.
Director, Sam Benavides, has won numerous accolades for his work and expects this film to rank high among his successes.
Jesse Woodrow, the lead Eddie states, "When I first read the script I told my agent, "I have to do this film". I was so impressed not only with the quality of the writing but the story. It's movies like these that actors dream of doing. I practically begged Sam and Serita to let me do the movie in our first meeting. I am beyond thrilled to have been a part of such a wonderful crew. Serita Stevens won an award for the screenplay... need I say more? Sam Benavides was tremendous on set. He worked very quick and knew exactly what he wanted. He was overwhelmingly distinguished when it came to collaborating with me as an actor. I am honored to be a part of The Unborn and I look forward to the future of the project. "
Playing the young mother, Jane, Nora Murrell had this to say. "My character, Jane, is a young, vulnerable mother-to-be who can't escape her husband Eddie's emotional and physical abuse. Playing Jane made me think about love. How much are we willing to sacrifice and endure in the name of love? Jane is willing to sacrifice anything to retrieve the husband she once knew and loved. She truly believes that Eddie will change once he holds their baby his arms, and that she can endure his abuse until that moment. This required me to tap into an emotional place I've never been in real life. Playing Jane also made me think about fear, and how fear of the one you love is a fear unlike any other. Jane is held captive and helpless by her overpowering fear of her husband. Of course, to experience these emotions is draining and exhausting. But I am thankful for the opportunity to play this amazing role, and for the small insight it provided into the lives of so many battered women."
Picked up by Shorts International for a theatrical distribution, almost unheard of for a short film, it has quickly attracted the eye of others and is expected to travel a strategic film festival circuit in 2012 and 2013., It will soon be a feature length film.
For more information about the film go to www.theunbornfilm.com. Watch the trailer at