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Ferris Faculty Member's Award-Winning Film 'Preemie' to be Aired in Big Rapids

PreemieThe award-winning documentary “Preemie,” created by Ferris State University faculty member Nick Kuiper, will be aired on Friday, Feb. 10 at Artworks, located at 106 N. Michigan Ave. in Big Rapids. This event is part of the Festival of the Arts.

“Preemie,” the stories of three premature infants and their families’ experiences, will start at 7 p.m. The airing of this 90-minute documentary is free and open to the public.

Kuiper, a Television and Digital Media Production temporary full-time faculty member, began filming “Preemie” when his daughter, Mollie, was born three months early in 2007. He said that the filming process was “cathartic” as he wanted to show all of the experiences a family may go through when having a premature baby.

“They gave Mollie a 1-percent chance of survival. It’s amazing what the smallest of babies can do,” he said. “I haven’t seen very many documentaries based on premature babies. I wanted to spread the word about their strength.”

“Preemie” received five awards during the 2011 Philo T. Farnsworth Awards, including: first place for professional documentary, excellence in documentary, excellence in editing, excellence in sound design and best in show. The film also was aired on public broadcasting stations across the U.S. in November 2011.

Kuiper, a 2006 graduate of Ferris’ TDMP program, hopes that members of the community attend the event, including current and future parents.

“I’m hoping everyone from the community attends so they will know and appreciate how fragile life is,” Kuiper said. “I hope the community learns that even though statistics may prove something it doesn’t mean they are always true.”

The event will be held downstairs in Artworks along with Kuiper’s “Preemie” artwork exhibit. The exhibit will include pencil sketches of his daughter when she was in the hospital and art featuring another premature baby in the film, McKenzie.

This event is sponsored by Big Rapids Furniture and Ferris’ College of Allied Health Sciences.