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“I Became Unexpectedly Pregnant!” | Ella Glendining, Is There Anybody Out There?

A woman with long, curly blond hair wears all black and stands to the right amid a gray backdrop.Courtesy of Sundance Institute.

Every production faces unexpected obstructions that require creative solutions and conceptual rethinking. What was an unforeseen obstacle, crisis, or simply unpredictable event you had to respond to, and how did this event impact or cause you to rethink your film?

The most unpredictable event I faced while making my very personal documentary is that I became unexpectedly pregnant! I immediately recognized this as an obstacle to the story I’d originally set out to tell, but equally felt strongly that it was a gift, both to me and the film. I allowed the pregnancy and becoming a parent to become an integral part of the story, embracing the shifts in identity, perspective and my place in the world that sometimes felt overwhelming and thrust upon me, and which were in fact inextricably linked to the original concept and main storyline of the film, that of my search for someone “exactly like me,” always having felt like an alien on this earth. From discovering I was pregnant, I made a conscious decision not to lose sight of my original goal and to stay dedicated to the absolute truth, while simultaneously throwing caution to the wind and trusting the film would become exactly what it was meant to be, which I believe it has.

See all responses to our annual Sundance Question here.

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