This weekend I had the absolute pleasure of attending the launch event for BECiNE , the first female-owned & operated, family-friendly boutique rental house in Los Angeles. With an upcoming film shoot scheduled of my own for my film Grit, my team and I decided to attend, interested to see what this rental house had in store.
What I walked away with on this Saturday afternoon, was so much more than just lenses, cameras, and tripods.
The invite stated that the launch was family-friendly, and so I brought my partner-in-crime, my seven-month old son Emmett in tow. I'm convinced he ended up having an even better time than I did!
Emmett and I were greeted at the entrance of the clean & modern Culver City space with a friendly invite for free childcare from the awesome peeps behind Collab & Play. I opted, this time, to forego the childcare because something told me a vibrant drum circle was in Emmett's future. We made a B-line for BECiNE's charming backyard space and found ourselves surrounded by a delicious buffet, an adorable baby song-session by Sing with Sylvie, and best of all, a gorgeous vintage airstream-trailer boasting a note-worthy bar! Say what?!?
Can I just say . . . BECiNE , you get me. You really get me.
Meeting the BECiNE team was a real treat. Bianca Halpern, the founder of BECiNE , is a D.P and filmmaker from Brazil who was inspired to return back to the U.S with her husband to raise her son. "One of the reasons why I opened BECiNE is to encourage the film industry to have kids, and still be able to be a present parent and work with what you love, " explained Bianca.
As a filmmaker who had studied film in the U.S, Bianca also had a long time dream of starting her own rental house in L.A. She reached out to Gillian Munroe, her former film-school cohort and collaborator, who now acts as BeCine's branding & creative director, and the rest as they say, is history. Errr. Her-story.
With BECiNE , Bianca and Gillian are creating the possibility of awesome clients, many female DP's, and eventually having a studio and production arm where BECiNE produces and shoots content that it aligned with its vision.
As the afternoon progressed, my generous friend, talented D.P, and secret baby whisperer Judy Phu drum-circled the hell out of Emmett, while I scoped out the goods, sipped champagne, and connected with other filmmakers.
My surprise girl-crush of the day came when I met Christy Lamb, co-founder, BOD president, and LA chapter leader of Moms in Film, a national 501(c)3 nonprofit organization dedicated to energizing the careers of parents in film/tv through community, funding and advocacy. How awesome is that?!?! Incidentally, I met Christy the same way I have recently met many of my new mama friends lately, singing songs about colors at the top of our lungs, and casually shaking little egg-shaped maraca's.
Mom's in Film offers free childcare for women at film festivals, conducts motherhood & filmmaking panels, and so much more. Bianca Halpern, the founder of BECiNE , had heard of the great work MiF had done at SUNDANCE and SXSW and thought they'd be a great fit for their event. "We were thrilled to present more information about our Wee Wagon childcare models at the BECiNE open house", explained Christy Lamb "As well as coordinate quality childcare at the event through our early learning partners, Collab & Play founded by Silvana Arzeno Toledo."
With Emmett in one arm, champagne in the other, sharing the inspiration behind my latest film with other filmmakers, and learning about theirs, I felt very much at home. More accurately, I felt like I was in someone else's home. A close friend's home . . . during a backyard BBQ, with a bunch of old friends. And I think that's the key to the success for so many up and coming female owned and operated businesses -- creating an environment and culture of community. And with so many brilliant women starting companies aimed at supporting other women, I thought, this is what it must feel like when they talk about finding your tribe.
These days, many of my weekends with Emmett are made up of park days, play dates, baby-groups, and life catch-up days. And while I wouldn't change (#datbabylife) for the world, the BECiNE launch party was a refreshing departure. More importantly, it was an opportunity to reconnect with the creative, professional, grown-up lady that I am. The best part? Attending an event where my little one and my new-mommy-status were not only tolerated, but genuinely celebrated.
Thank you BECiNE for getting it, and thank you for having us!
EILEEN & EMMETT