Filmmaker Jen Gilomen was a Center for Arts + Social Justice fellow from 2021 – 2022. Her film BORN FOR THIS is a documentary following one family as they plan and hope for a home birth. Determined not to become another statistic of the Black maternal health crisis, Janeé Washington and her husband Josh choose the rare option of hiring an experienced midwife and doula and planning to give birth at home, away from the hospital and its many interventions. But the baby has other plans, and despite all of the team’s efforts, they ultimately transfer to the hospital at the eleventh hour. The film follows the story of the birth of one baby, with its family caught between two very different approaches to childbirth.
The film will be one component of a larger project exploring different aspects of maternal healthcare. It includes Jen’s feature documentary DELIVERING JUSTICE, which follows midwife Tanya Smith-Johnson as she works to make midwifery more accessible to her community, and a planned podcast series in collaboration with the pioneering Reproductive Justice organization Black Women Birthing Justice.
Jen graduated VCFA’s MFA in Film program in 2023.