Searchlight Shorts licenses The Heart Still Hums

(Courtesy Park Pictures)

Searchlight Shorts has licensed the powerful Park Pictures documentary short film The Heart Still Hums for their online platform, depicting a raw and honest glimpse into the struggles of modern-day mothers in need and the charity organizations eager to help.

Mothers and mother-figures of all stripes struggle through motherhood and its many hardships, but facing additional challenges like being unhoused, not having financial support or stability, and the real possibility of needing to seek adoptive services for your child is a heartbreaking reality many face today.

The powerful short film highlights two organizations in particular, Black Mothers United/HerHealthFirst and Chickes in Crisis, Inc, and is sure to strike a chord with both mothers and children of mothers who have struggled with such trials as viewers approach Mother’s Day, May 9.

Co-directed by both Grammy-nominated director Savanah Leaf and Indie Spirit Award-nominated actor and filmmaker Taylor Russell (Bones and All, Waves), The Heart Still Hums follows five women based in Sacramento, CA, through varying stages of young motherhood.

The young mothers navigate the turbulence of accessing hard-won resources through nonprofits or, in the hardest circumstances, seeking adoptive families for their children. Watch the short in its entirety below:

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The organizations featured in the film include Black Mothers United/HerHealthFirst and Chicks In Crisis, Inc. HerHealthFirst improves health equity in Sacramento County by providing support to women, envisioning a community in which all women have full and equal access to opportunities leading to the highest level of health possible.

Chicks In Crisis’ mission is to provide love, home and family for every child, supporting mothers and fathers with prenatal care, facilitating open adoption placements, offering educational parenting classes and other services, in order to reduce infant abandonment, foster care, abuse and more.

Says Savanah, “When I was 15 years old, I met Inez, the founder of Chicks in Crisis, and a group of young mothers in her program. Over the next few months, I got to know one mother in particular, building mutual respect and a relationship of understanding. As summer brought the birth of her new child, I was asked to cut the umbilical cord of my now sister. This documentary is personal to me, a story that brought my family together through selflessness and the power of love, the ability to recognize our imperfections and strive to better the future of our children. Our communities need this story today more than ever.”

Adds Taylor, “Watching the women in my life give everything they have for their children is undoubtedly the most inspirational act I can think of and has bled into everything that interests me now. The incredible women captured in The Heart Still Hums opened their hearts for us and I can’t wait for you all to see it.”

The Searchlight Shorts film has garnered sweeping critical praise and film festival accolades, including the 2020 Palm Springs ShortFest Best Documentary Short Award and BlackStar Film Festival Best Short Documentary Award.

The Heart Still Hums most recently screened at Aspen Shortsfest on April 9, 2021. Savanah Leaf is represented by 2AM and Granderson des Rochers, and Taylor Russell is represented by UTA.