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New Release: Overachieving Latinx Boss Choosing Her Fate In An Unforgiving Lonely World

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A private look behind the scenes of a very real and very beautiful procreating single powerhouse.

SINGLE MOTHER BY CHOICE tells the story of a single, workaholic woman who sets out to have a baby on her own terms; but is truly forced to go through pregnancy alone when the world throws the unimaginable year 2020 in her path.

HBO Max

What I love about this movie is that the ‘cheap trick’ of the growing belly is not the point of the film. It could be a movie about anyone who has issues with trust, inability to ask for help, unwilling to admit that they are not everything they need. Asking a Father for help is a huge issue for many adult women. Handling COVID in the film industry is its own movie. AND having half of Eva’s clients move back to Mexico for good after re-evaluating their pandemic lifestyle is devastating. There are some deeply personal moments that feel real on another level. Eva and her Mother have an intimate connective moment where they cannot even touch and my heart broke. Since we’re all still in a late-pandemic, today’s release couldn’t have come at a better time.

Described as a fictional film about a real pregnancy, “Single Mother by Choice” is based on star, writer and producer Selina Ringel’s real-life pregnancy in the midst of the pandemic in 2020. She captures and infuses her own personal struggles into the story of an overachieving Latinx woman determined to have a baby on her own terms.

The film… was put together by Ringel and her husband Dan Levy Dagerman, both of whom wrote, produced and edited segments of the film through the lockdown during each month of Ringel’s real-life pregnancy. They produced through their Two Hands Productions banner.

The wrap

Selina Ringel (Single Mother by Choice, The Charlotte Chronicles)’s “Eva” is a stand-alone show. She is confident, prepared, and holds her head high. She wants to do everything ‘right’ including a classy and loving lunch with her Dad to share tough news with him. She has a big ol’ heart in there and doesn’t let anyone really in to see it. She hurts, but she loves being her own woman. She knows she wants to raise her own children and she’s made the best decision for her situation. AND seeing real women grow curves and show off their full growing bodies is beautiful. I love that the actress chose to be all of herself with us. Playing Eva’s Mom is Vanessa Angel (KingpinSons of Thunder)’s “Susan.” Susan is so loving, but distant. She offers this great Mom advice, but she isn’t great at filling in where her daughter might need her most. You can definitely see how Eva became incredibly self-reliant.

I wish we had more of Brittany S. Hall (Ballers, Satisfaction)’s “Skye” but I suspect that since this movie was started before COVID, we might have lost her in-house presence to extenuating circumstances. She is generous, connected, and grounded. I loved her. A nice addition was George Tsai (Sweet Home, CSI: Vegas)’s “Brian” as the comedically annoyed colleague who handled a very awkward Eva going through a professional/personal overlap in a way she did not expect.

Watching Eva in a bra and belly pick up a dish on the floor in all its painful and impossible glory is the kind of understated comedy Selina brings to whatever project she makes. I’ve seen her work these last few years and am blown away time and time again by her relatable, joyful, and unapologetic generosity of self. She is a joy to watch on screen and you’ll love how much privacy we’ve lost in the pandemic.

This is the second movie I watched this year where the leading actress/filmmaker took her whole real-life pregnancy through a fully realized film (See: Delicate State Starring Paula Rhodes). Both women made a personal choice that is truly delicate. The public nature and reliance of others in the story on a growing body adds an undo pressure I wish on no one. If you’re considering such a journey, be advised that both of these brave and talented women made the choice to showcase their first pregnancy- after having a few kids myself, I’d HIGHLY recommend using your second pregnancy. Second pregnancies don’t get the same attention and the existential exploration is entirely different.

Enjoy this cuddle-on-the-couch-with-a-loved-one movie today, I don’t recommend watching it alone after a long year of doing a lot of life alone.

Click HERE To Watch

Jennica Schwartzman, Managing Partner at Purpose Pictures Productions, Co-Founder of Little Sister Entertainment, and a member of The Producers Guild of America, SAG/AFTRA, and Moms-In-Film LA, loves tackling a project from idea to distribution as a multi-hyphenate actress-writer-producer. Jennica has been published in the Producers Guild Magazine "Produced By," Legacy Arts Magazine, Paragon Road, Bustle, and she is a guest writer for the acclaimed entertainment industry websites MsInTheBiz.com, FilmmakingStuff.com, Artemis Motion Pictures' #WomenKickAss Forum, and WomenandHollywood.com. She has been invited to speak on film festival panels and is a workshop teacher for The International Family Film Festival's Road Scholars intergenerational filmmaking camp. Jennica has produced ten feature film releases. Jennica and her husband /producing partner /writing partner Ryan have two kiddos and reside in Hollywood.

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