The Virginia Film Festival will feature an Award-Winning Documentary by VA Filmmakers and Quadriplegic Mom Dani Izzie, DANI’S TWINS. This short documentary captures the pregnancy and early parenting journey of Dani Izzie, a local filmmaker and quadriplegic mom to twins. The film, an official selection of the 2022 Virginia Film Festival will screen on Thurs., Nov. 3 at 5 pm in Culbreth Theatre on the University of Virginia Campus as a program of the University of Virginia. A filmmakers’ Q&A will follow, including UVA faculty member Dr. Robert Fuller, a member of UVA OBGYN’s Maternal Fetal Medicine Division.
Izzie, a Virginia native and resident of Culpeper County, joined veteran filmmaker Brad Allgood, as well as VA residents Steve Dorst (director, cinematographer) and Angie Gentile (producer) to document her one-in-a-billion journey as one of the few quadriplegic women ever to give birth to twins. The film captures the high-stakes drama of Izzie’s expected and unexpected challenges throughout pregnancy, as well as the joys and profound beauty of her experience.
“As difficult as it was to share such a private story, I was compelled to provide an authentic portrait of what pregnancy and motherhood with a disability looks like in real life,” says Izzie, star and producer of the film. “My goal is to break down barriers and help people with and without disabilities understand that disabled pregnancy and parenthood is not only possible, it’s actually quite normal.”
“The birth of Dani’s twins was the culmination of months of careful prenatal care and planning,” says UVA Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology Dr. Robert Fuller, a maternal-fetal medicine specialist at UVA Health and UVA Children’s. “We celebrate with Dani and her family as this extraordinary new chapter of her life begins.”
When the Covid pandemic nearly brought production to a standstill, the team worked with Izzie, who despite the physical limitations of her pregnancy and spinal cord injury, was able to document a critical portion of her journey–including the race to the University of Virginia (UVA) Medical Center when she went into labor.