Baby Brother

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania | Film Short


Harold Batista

1 Campaigns | Pennsylvania, United States

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This campaign raised $12,811 for production. Follow the filmmaker to receive future updates on this project.

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Help us shoot our last scenes! It’s the mid-eighties and six-year-old Timmy is going to be a big brother. There is nothing he wants more in life than the premiere home video game system. When his mother loses the pregnancy, Timmy offers to give up his video game savings to buy a new baby brother.

About The Project

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Mission Statement

This story is a loosely autobiographical and deeply personal project. The project is dedicated to my own family’s loss and I hope that it can speak to other families that have navigated the difficult experience of a miscarriage together, often in fallible and surprisingly poignant ways.

The Story

We are raising funds to complete our last two days of filming as well as post production finishing funds. In addition to the three unique aspects of the Moorestown location that will provide the magic wishing water central to the story, on the same sight we will be able to shoot the opening scenes in the Boscov's department store—helping us portray the time period when domestic video game systems hit American markets. Its fortuitious to have Boscov's at the same location because of its lack on contemporary branding that would contradict the time period.


We plan to shoot at the end of May and then spend the Summer editing, working on sound design, and color grading. Our goal is to have a festival ready film by September 2022.

It’s the 1980’s. Young Timmy dashes between clothing racks fully immersed in his imagination while his mother Lucy tries on clothing in the maternity section of a JCPenney mall outlet. She is twenty-six weeks pregnant. Tom, his dad, makes sure Timmy isn’t wreaking too much havoc on the merchandise displays.
     On their way out, Timmy sees another family purchasing the video game system that he has been coveting. As they leave the mall, he sneaks some of the mall's fountain water—where shoppers cast their coin wishes—into his empty Burger King cup.
     Back home in his bedroom, Timmy pours the wishing water over his coin jar, converting his life savings into a fortune of wishes. But later that night Timmy hears a loud noise and jumps out of bed, accidentally spilling the contents of his jar.
     Tracing the commotion to his parents’ room, he finds his mom and dad in their bathroom crying. When he approaches to try and console them, we switch to Tom’s panicked perspective. He quickly flushes the toilet and harshly tells Timmy to go to bed. Shortly before an ambulance pulls up, Grandma arrives to take care of Timmy.
     Two days later, Tom and Lucy return from the hospital. The family tiptoes around the topic of miscarriage. Lucy confronts her mother on the topic, provoking a fight.
     Grief-stricken, Tom later spends a moment alone in Timmy’s room while his son is out playing. When Timmy returns, he tells his father that he spilled his wishing water and fears that his wish for a new video game console won’t come true. When Tom tries his best to muster a speech to comfort his son, Timmy comes up with a new idea: to offer his coins to buy a baby brother instead.

I use the medium of film to show how women’s health, reproduction and birth processes are too often treated as taboos, and that the resulting cloud of mystery and shame around stillbirths amplifies the trauma for all involved.

There is a dearth of filmic representations of miscarriage [1], and even fewer that narrativize the event as it is experienced by multiple members of a family [2]. Based on my research, representations of the miscarriage itself largely fall into two unsatisfying categories: indirect allusion and expressionistic horror. Most prevalent is allusion to the event through dialogue and the subsequent depiction of the grieving mother, such as in Charlotte's loss in season six of Sex and the City.

Alternatively, the mother is shown in pain or discomfort, enough for the audience to question whether "something is wrong," before the scene cuts away to a hackneyed symbol such as a singularly dated small wooden cross in the yard with an inscription, "33 May 1921, Remembered Always" as deployed in Cianfrance's The Light Between Oceans.

The second prevalent genre is expressionistic horror. Isabelle Adjani’s famous three-minute performance in Zuławski's Possesion is archetypical: an expectant mother filmed in intimate handheld camerawork writhes in a kind of grotesque modernist dance before collapsing to the floor and expelling metaphorical liquids from every orifice amongst her spilt satchel of fresh groceries. This genre either exploits the event of miscarriage to showcase the gratuitously grotesque, or sublimates the event into metaphor wherein the stillbirth paradoxically becomes a monster. Apparently living monsters are less horrifying than failed births.

Moving beyond these tired clichés, Baby Brother represents miscarriage through the multiple perspectives of a family of three: the event is depicted as it is experienced by the mother, witnessed and intervened into by the father, and consciously and unconsciously processed by the son. 


[1] Keyword search on the Internet Movie Data Base (IMDb) produced these striking results: violence (17508 titles), love (26587 titles), death (21489 titles), pregnancy (6314 titles), birth (822 titles), stillbirth (60 titles).

[2] Rosa, Christopher. “7 TV and Movie Scenes About Miscarriage That Should Be Required Viewing” April 24, 2020.

This entire production will follow safety protocols outlined by Temple University. I, and many in my cohort, have been heartbroken to loose four semesters of set experience while in film school. We have been dreaming of the stories we want to tell for nearly two years and are all grateful for any help with making those dreams come true.


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Moorestown Mall, NJ

Costs $5,000

We can't complete the film without raising the fee to shoot at this location.

Sky Melt Sound

Costs $3,000

Dungeon Beach, NY

Costs $3,000

The color has to be right!

Cast & Equipment Rental

Costs $3,000

Help us bring back our talent from three different states and cover equipment rentals.

Cash Pledge

Costs $0

About This Team

Baby Brother brings together talent from four different states and talented graduates, undergrads, and alum from Temple University and the University of Pennsylvania.

Harold Batista was born near Fort Lauderdale, Florida. He formerly lived and worked as an artist and media producer in New York City, where he began his event streaming company Delphinidae Appearances. Harold received a full tuition scholarship to study fine arts at the Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art and was twice invited to study at the Whitney Museum’s Independent Study Program, once in studio practice and once in critical studies. He is currently a Future Faculty Fellow at Temple University pursuing a concentration in directing and is the two-time recipient of the Minnie & Ben Lazaroff Award for exceptional work and great promise in screenwriting.

Current Team