We Want Your Babies!… well, Joy Project does anyway

Lancashire-based Joy Project is searching for heavily pregnant women in the county with a due date of December 25th for an exciting film project!

“We’re looking to find and document the birth of a child on Christmas Day and a mum who doesn’t mind a film crew being along for the ride!” said the project’s originator Ian Longstaff.

The resulting short-film is to be the culmination of the month long “A D V E N T” project which will have seen members of the public submit joyful and hopeful three-minute films, the best of which will premiere on YouTube at 6pm every day from December 1st.

The team are under no illusions about the daunting challenge ahead but say it’s the most exciting thing they’ve ever taken on. Mums-to-be are being asked to register their details at the website


For everyone else this is a unique opportunity to submit a film for this ambitious one-off happening. Submissions of three-minute films will focus on six topics – hope, joy, anticipation, excitement, arrival and new beginnings. “The very antithesis of everything we have been going though with Covid” says Ian.


Just like a traditional Advent Calendar, each film starts with the opening of a door – it does not have to be a house door, it could be a car, an office door, a rabbit hutch door – and then goes on to explore what positivity looks like for all of us in battle-weary lockdown Britain.

The Joy Project see it as a much-needed and long-awaited “feelgood fest” which builds towards the final episode on December 25th and, hopefully (!) the birth of a child.

The films will provide a poignant snapshot of our times, opening a window on what “new normal” looks like for people and how things that give us hope and joy are the things that have kept us all going throughout the pandemic.

Unlike current life there are few restrictions on the content, style or type of film submitted. The mini-movies can be shot on phones, cameras, tablets or full-blown movie cameras, they can be live action, slideshow or animation – scripted, spontaneous or silent.


The only real stipulations are that the initial sequence features a door opening and that submissions do not run for longer than three minutes.


At the end of the project all 25 films will be edited together to form one full feature-length movie of 75 minutes and “A D V E N T 2020, The Movie” will be broadcast on New Year’s Day.


The entire project is being run by volunteers and is the first outing for not-for-profit CiC ‘ParticipArt’ with hands-on support from Blackburn College among others where students are pitching in at every stage of the process and will be leading the shortlisting process from of the 100’s of entries expected.

The company is also grateful for the mentoring and advice of other Lancs arts producers like Culturapedia, In-Situ and Blackburn videographers ‘This Is TAE’ as well as experts and community pioneers, most notably “inclusion activist” Saima Afzal MBE.

“To be honest the whole thing is a bit of an experiment and there’s not even a back-up plan if we have no Mums in labour on the 25th!” admits Ian “but it’s a tantalising prospect and the whole team are giddily revving up for launch day on December 1st!”

For more information visit, ring Ian on 07960 756962 or email  
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