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Documentary-maker tells one teen mom’s story

February 1, 2011


Teen pregnancy has long been a touchy issue in Beloit, and has been brought up time and again as pregnancy rates among the city's girls have risen since 2005. That’s the year Human Growth and Development—sex ed—was removed from Beloit Memorial High School’s health curriculum.

Jamie Norton’12 explores this topic and the myriad facets of one Beloit teen’s situation in her new documentary, Teen Pregnancy: Brenda Macias. The film will screen at 8 p.m. tonight (Wednesday) in Science Center 150.

Norton says delving into the project wasn’t always easy, as a filmmaker or as someone intellectually interested in the topic. The education and youth studies major met Macias while working in a local charter school, and spent nearly a year shooting footage and editing it into the final film. She’d worked with film before, but never with such a weighty subject.

“This is the first serious thing that I think I’ve done—putting controversial issues out there is scary, but they’re important to talk about,” she says.

Both the filmmaker and Macias will be on hand tonight to answer questions after the screening. If you miss the full-length version of the documentary tonight, it will screen at the Beloit International Film Festival at noon on Sunday, Feb. 20.

“I would love for people to come see it, tell me what they think, and ask questions,” Norton said.

Pictured below in still from the film are Norton, left, and Macias. 

Brenda and Jamie