“Freedom For Birth” – Global Film Launch
For Immediate Release
“Freedom For Birth” – Global Film Launch Gives birth to the Mothers' Revolution Wellington – Wednesday 12th September 2012
A new documentary that reframes childbirth as the most pressing global Human Rights issue today is launching with hundreds of premières all over the world on the same day, Thursday 20th September 2012.
The screening in Wellington on that date is at the Penthouse Cinema at 8pm. Freedom For Birth is a 60 minute campaigning documentary featuring a Who's Who of leading birth experts and international Human Rights lawyers all calling for radical change to the world's maternity systems.
Made by British film-makers Toni Harman and Alex Wakeford, Freedom For Birth film tells the story of an Hungarian midwife Ágnes Geréb who has been jailed for supporting women giving birth at home. One of the home birth mothers supported by Ms Geréb decided to take a stand.
When pregnant with her second child, Anna Ternovsky took her country to the European Court of Human Rights and won a landmark case that has major implications for childbirth around the world. Toni Harman, one of the film-makers says, “the Ternovsky vs Hungary ruling at the European Court of Human Rights in 2010 means that now in Europe, every birthing woman has the legal right to decide where and how she gives birth. And across the world, it means that if a woman feels like her Human Rights are being violated because her birth choices are not being fully supported, she could use the power of the law to protect those rights. With the release of “Freedom For Birth”, we hope millions of women become aware of their legal rights and so our film has the potential to spark a revolution in maternity care across the world. In fact, we are calling this the Mothers' Revolution.”
Karen Guilliland, CEO of the New Zealand College of Midwives says that New Zealanders are likely to be shocked at the story told by Freedom For Birth. "We are one of the very few countries where pregnant women enjoy full rights as a person. " Karen recently spoke at the Human Rights in Childbirth Conference at the Hague, in the Netherlands and says that the international audience was inspired by our system. "Human rights seem like such a given in New Zealand but much of the world still does not meet the human rights expectations we take for granted. However, we should never take our maternity rights for granted and Freedom For Birth will encourage us to cherish and protect what we have."
Hermine Hayes-Klein, US lawyer and organiser of the recent Human Rights in Childbirth Conference at the Hague, the Netherlands says, “Freedom For Birth” holds the answer to changing the system. Birth will change when women realise they have a right to meaningful support for childbirth and claim that right. Birth will change when women stand up against the abuses that are currently suffered in such high numbers and say, No More.” When asked why they are showing the film, the two Wellington mothers who are organising the local screening, Karen Gault and Vida Rye say, “We want all women to be fully informed of their birth options and to be supported in their choice of how and where they give birth. We feel privileged to have birthed in a country that has a maternity system that, in the main, respects those choices. However, we feel that we cannot be complacent about what we have, we need to hold on to it for our children and their children, there are still improvements needed”.
The local screening of Freedom For Birth will take place at the Penthouse Cinema, Brooklyn, Wellington at 8pm on Thursday 20th September 2012. The screening is to raise funds for the “Birth Centre for Wellington” project. To book your tickets www.birthhub.org/freedomforbirth or contact 04 589 7802. --
Additional Notes Additional information about Freedom For Birth can be found on the website: http://freedomforbirth.com
The filmmakers are aiming for 1,000 screenings happening all across the world on Thursday 20th September, 2012. The countries with confirmed screenings include the UK, Germany, France, Denmark, Spain, Greece, Italy, Norway, the Netherlands, Austria, Poland, Croatia, Slovenia, Slovakia, Belgium, Hungary, USA, Canada, Mexico, Australia and New Zealand.
Each screening is being organised by local birth campaigners.
The film has been selected for screening in the Cambridge Film Festival on 20th September. http://www.cambridgefilmfestival.org.uk/
Toni Harman and Alex Wakeford are a filmmaking couple who have set up a cross-media global film project called One World Birth to provide educational videos featuring the world's leading birth experts http://oneworldbirth.net Freedom For Birth is Harman and Wakeford's third documentary film about birth. They were inspired to make films about following their own difficult birth of their daughter four years ago. A cascade of interventions in their birth led to an emergency caesarean section.
To book tickets for the Wellington screening on Thursday 20th September 2012 at 8pm Go to www.birthhub.org/freedomforbirthor contact Vida on 04 589 7802
NB. Tickets are not being sold by the venue, only via the website above.