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Home Movies Moms-in-Film to Launch at SXSW as the First Free Mobile Childcare Service...

Moms-in-Film to Launch at SXSW as the First Free Mobile Childcare Service for Film Industry 

Austin, TX – Moms-in-Film, an organization founded to energize the careers of mothers in film and television by providing community, funding and advocacy, is poised to alleviate the childcare issue for filmmaker-parents on the ground at SXSW 2017. The Bi-coastal organization is partnering with Collab&Play, LA’s first coworking space with on-site childcare, to provide professional, free childcare using the funds received from a SXSW community grant.

This pilot of the Wee Wagon, a mobile childcare unit which will provide childcare to the film community on set as well as at festivals, will launch the service which will be available from Moms-in-Film later this year. In addition to providing free childcare in the Wee Wagon from March 13 to 17, Moms-in-Film is presenting a panel on Parenthood and Filmmaking, to address the challenges facing parents of both sexes working in various fields within film.

The Wee Wagon is an advocacy initiative as well as a practical service, in an “industry which is not currently structured to support parents; a reality that disproportionately affects women and accounts for much of the industry’s gender imbalance,” says Mathilde Dratwa, founder of Moms-in-Film. “The lack of provisions for childcare keeps women off set as well as away from festivals, where they miss out on networking opportunities and meetings that could lead to funding, distribution, collaboration, and future projects.”

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To efficiently support the parent filmmakers presenting at SXSW, Moms-in-Film is constructing a temporary “Wee Wagon” in a film trailer from Austin-based Film Fleet.  Much like the plans for the future Wee Wagon, the unit will be decorated and furnished to meet the needs and wants of young children, and using it to showcase the potential of a mobile unit for childcare. For use on set, the Wee Wagon offers unique benefits including proximity to your children when working long and often inflexible hours, especially for parents who travel out-of-state. Dratwa says, “It’s so exciting to think of a bespoke, imaginative, play-based space created for the children themselves.”

The SXSW “Wee Wagon” will be stationed outside the ZACH theatre and will always be staffed by two early childhood professionals from Collab&Play. The Wee Wagon can accommodate up to 5 children at a time (between the ages of 3 months and 4 years). Chirsty Lamb, director of Strategy & Development for Moms-in-Film, says “We are thrilled to be collaborating with Collab&Play for this initiative. As a new mom living in Los Angeles, I use Collab&Play all the time: it’s a fantastic solution for creative professionals with young children. We are thrilled to bring their concept to SXSW and adapt it for the film industry.”

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Valerie Milano is the well-connected Senior Editor and Entertainment Critic at TheHollywoodTimes.today, a website that aggregates showbiz news curated for, and written by, insiders of the entertainment industry. (@HwoodTimes @TheHollywood.Times) Milano, whose extraordinary talents for networking in the famously tight-clad enclave of Hollywood have placed her at the center of the industry’s top red carpets and events since 1984, heads daily operations of a uniquely accessible, yet carefully targeted publication. For years, Milano sat on the board and tour coordinator of the Television Critics Association’s press tours. She has written for Communications Daily, Discover Hollywood, Hollywood Today, Television International, and Video Age International, and contributed to countless other magazines and digests. Valerie works closely with the Human Rights Campaign as a distinguished Fed Club Council Member. She also works with GLSEN, GLAAD, Outfest, NCLR, LAMBDA Legal, and DAP Health, in addition to donating both time and finances to high-profile nonprofits. She has been a member of the Los Angeles Press Club for a couple of years and looks forward to the possibility of contributing to the future success of its endeavors. Milano’s passion for meeting people extends from Los Feliz to her favorite getaway, Palm Springs. There, she is a member of the Palm Springs Museum of Art and a prominent Old Las Palmas-area patron.