Submitted by Toni Harmon
Films don’t change the world. It’s people that change the world.
If people get behind a film, then it can achieve incredible things. It can change opinions. It can inform, educate, inspire, empower and yes, it can change the world.
Take three birth documentaries ORGASMIC BIRTH, THE BUSINESS OF BEING BORN and our previous film, FREEDOM FOR BIRTH. By connecting with a wonderfully supportive audience, these films became powerful. They changed the face of birth around the world.
Before ORGASMIC BIRTH, did you know that it was even possible to have an ecstatic birth? Before THE BUSINESS OF BEING BORN, did you realise the extent of the economic interests that impact maternity policy in the US?
Before FREEDOM FOR BIRTH, did you know about human rights in childbirth? Had you heard of Agnes Gereb, the Hungarian midwife imprisoned for attending home births? (Just in the last few days, there’s wonderful news with Agnes’ case – she has been released from house arrest although there’s more court cases still pending).
I believe films can be more powerful than books, blogs and newspaper articles. Films can break through into the mainstream, attract global media attention and influence decision-makers to bring about change.
Take FREEDOM FOR BIRTH. When we released the film in September 2012, over 100,000 people saw the film on one day. The issue of human rights in childbirth was catapulted into the mainstream media resulting in hundreds of newspaper articles, blogs, radio and TV news features. And why did this happen? Because a global community of over 1,000 extraordinary people supported the film by holding a world premiere screening.
Now change is starting to happen. Women’s birth rights is now firmly on the agenda. In the UK, the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists is holding a training event on 7th March for International Women’s Day 2014 called ‘Human rights awareness in women’s health’. And one of the talks at RCOG World Congress 2014 Conference Committee in Hyderabad, India at the end of March is on ‘Obstetric violence and human rights’. Whether this is directly down to FFB – who can say. I’d like to think our film may have played a part.
Our next film, MICROBIRTH is a feature-length documentary looking at the latest science asking if medical interventions in childbirth could be damaging the long-term health of our children with consequences for the whole of mankind.
Just like we did with FREEDOM FOR BIRTH, we want to release MICROBIRTH with a huge global simultaneous screening event this September. In this way, we want to grab the attention of the world’s media, policy-makers and all healthcare providers so that everyone becomes aware of the potential long-term risks of interventions.
But for the film to become a powerful tipping point that inspires real change, we need you. And thousands of strong-willed, strong-minded individuals just like you.
So, can a birth film really change the world? No. But with your help, yes we can!
Please consider holding a world premiere screening of MICROBIRTH this September. Make it a rallying point for change. Then together, we can and will change the world.
To secure a screening, choose one of MICROBIRTH premiere perks on our Indiegogo fundraising campaign website http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/microbirth.
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After training at the London Film School, Toni Harman worked as a producer / director making factual programmes, documentaries, short films and even a feature film. Then she had a baby and everything changed!
Together with her partner Alex Wakeford, Toni started making films about birth including DOULA! (http://doulafilm.com) and FREEDOM FOR BIRTH (http://freedomforbirth.com). Their new film MICROBIRTH will be released this September. (http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/microbirth).
Together, Toni and Alex founded ONE WORLD BIRTH with one objective: to make films to make birth around the world.
Join Debra in Italy this summer for Pleasures of the Amalfi Coast Women’s Retreat