Oscar-nominated director Amanda Micheli’s provocative and suspenseful documentary follows several aspiring parents who desperately want to have a baby but are struggling with infertility and the high cost of treatments. They place themselves in the hands of a Las Vegas doctor and his annual contest, which offers a prize of a free round of in-vitro fertilization—with no guarantee of success. Contestants post video entries online telling their stories, counting on the votes of strangers to make their dreams of becoming parents true.
IVF can be cripplingly expensive and is rarely covered by insurance in the United States. So while exposing private pain online to win a contest is a brutal proposition, many infertile couples consider this a gamble worth taking. Through this controversial contest, VEGAS BABY navigates the complexities of America’s burgeoning fertility industry and unveils the class disparity within a topic that is often clouded by judgment and stereotypes. Micheli paints an intimate portrait of the many resilient individuals – from a devoutly Catholic Latino couple in Texas to a lesbian Lady Gaga Impersonator in New York – determined to have a baby against all odds.
(n.b. the film premiered at Tribeca in 2016 as “HAVEABABY”)