BIRTH TIME: the documentary breaks pre-sales record for documentary for Demand Films

February 12, 2021

The feature documentary Birth Time has achieved a record box office in pre-sales for distributor Demand Films.
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BIRTH TIME: the documentary breaks pre-sales record for documentary for Demand Films

The feature documentary Birth Time has achieved a record box office in pre-sales for distributor Demand Films.

The film has booked $206,655 on pre-sales on 72 screens around Australia as of this morning, with the first screening at the Randwick Ritz in Sydney last night filled to capacity at the Ritz’s largest cinema.

The filmmakers Zoe Naylor, Jo Hunter and Jerusha Sutton are hosting a series of 13 special events Q&A screenings around the country between now and mid-March, with further screens confirmed from March 10.

In the film, three women – Zoe Naylor, Jo Hunter and Jerusha Sutton – embark on a mission to find out why an increasing number of mothers are emerging from their births physically and emotionally traumatised.  Their discoveries expose the truth and lead them to join the birth revolution and forge a movement that hopes to change the face of maternity care in Australia and across the developed world.

“COVID presented near catastrophic conditions for the cinema and theatrical distribution business in 2020. It is so gratifying that our first return to the cinemas in almost a year turns out to deliver our best pre-sale box-office for a documentary in our company’s history,” said David Doepel, Managing Director of Demand Film.

“When the film went on sale last November, and we sold 893 tickets on the first day for a movie that was, at that time, almost three months away we understood how special was the connection between the filmmakers, their community and the importance of the topic. That day gave us hope that 2021 would be very different to 2020. That hope has turned into a record-setting reality.

“In addition to the screens we secured for the release for our opening national footprint, we have since had over 50 requests for more screenings at cinemas around the country. And these are coming in on a daily basis.”

About the Film:

For actress and activist Zoe Naylor, the birth of her second child in 2016 was a revelation. With Jo Hunter as her midwife, and Jerusha Sutton as her doula/birth videographer, Zoe emerged from the birth feeling transformed and with a deep sense of healing, an experience vastly different from her first birth.

Connected by their shared experience, Zoe, Jo and Jerusha began to research behind the scenes of Australia’s maternity system, which sees over 300,000 new babies born each year, with all but 12,000 of these births taking place inside our hospitals.

They found that despite the access to world-class medical care that hospitalisation affords, this is not leading to better outcomes for mothers and babies.

In fact, through discussions with medical professionals and academics around the country, it became increasingly clear that something was very wrong – with birth trauma rampant (according to Dr Rachel Reed, Senior Lecturer in Midwifery and Midwifery Discipline Lead at the University of the Sunshine Coast, one in three women in the developed world describe their birth as traumatic), talk of a national postnatal depression epidemic, and skyrocketing intervention and caesarean rates (three times the figure proposed by the World Health Organisation).

Motivated to make a positive change, for the future of all women and their families, Birth Time: the documentary, and global human rights movement Birth Time were conceived and delivered.

Birth Time takes a deep dive into what birth looks like for women in the developed world, asking the question, “What would it take for women to emerge from their births physically well, and emotionally safe?”

Realised over four years of ongoing research and evidence gathering, the film opens with the home birth of Zoe Naylor’s second child, Beau; follows other women throughout their pregnancies and births; and interviews Australian women and their partners from all walks of life to hear their birth stories, gaining an insight into what women experience during the births of their babies.

Global experts – including midwives, obstetricians, academics and lawyers, back up their experiences, questioning how and why our broken system fails women, their partners and the caregivers working within it.

Whilst two inspiring indigenous midwives – founders of the Birthing on Country initiative, share their thoughts on the importance of bringing culturally sensitive care to pregnant and birthing indigenous women.

Throughout these interviews a theme emerges, an idea astonishing in its simplicity backed up by global evidence – One Woman, One Midwife.

If all women could choose to work in partnership with one midwife who provided them with continuity of care throughout their entire pregnancy, birth and postnatal period, more women could emerge from their births physically well and emotionally safe, inspired and empowered to connect with their child and tackle the challenges of motherhood.

Birth Time: the documentary explores the trauma that is inflicted on women as they go through an experience which should be amongst the most joyous of their lives, and through the insights of experts, evidence AND women’s stories, looks at how we can do so much better for women, their babies and their families.

We emerge with a picture of hope and love, showing the real possibility that women in the developed world CAN emerge from their births feeling physically well, and emotionally safe.

Written, produced and directed by first-time filmmakers, Zoe Naylor, Jo Hunter and Jerusha Sutton, Birth Time: the documentary is already a winner on the international film festival circuit, taking home a slew of awards including Best Documentary Feature, Best Directors and Best Women’s Issue Film, alongside numerous other nominations and special mentions.

But it doesn’t stop there!

Zoe, Jo and Jerusha say, “Birth Time: the documentary is not just a film, it’s an evocative initial catalyst for mobilising the masses, as part of a greater education hub and resource Birth Time: the movement.  Through the Birth Time platform, we hope to educate, inspire and motivate young women, pregnant women and people, mothers, partners grandparents, family, birth workers, midwives, doctors, policy makers, politicians, organisations and corporations to be the voice for change.  When we improve women’s experiences around birth, we change the world!”

Zoe, Jo and Jerusha are joined in their mission by former Olympian, youth leader, motivational speaker and mother of two, Selina Scoble, to take their message to the world.

Birth Time: the documentary will premiere around the country from February 11 to March 9, 2021, with special screenings followed by panel discussions with the Birth Time team.

11 February, 7pm, Ritz Cinemas Randwick SYDNEY

12 February,8pm, Palace Cinemas CANBERRA

15 February, 7pm, Ritz Cinemas Randwick SYDNEY

16 February, 8pm, Village Cinemas GEELONG

17 February, 7pm, Hoyts Cinemas MELBOURNE CENTRAL

18 February, 8pm, Capri Theatre ADELAIDE

22 February, 6.30pm, Luna Palace Windsor PERTH

28 February, 6.30pm, Majestic Cinemas Nambour SUNSHINE COAST

1 March, 8pm, New Farm Cinemas BRISBANE

2 March, 7pm, New Farm Cinemas BRISBANE

3 March, 2pm, Palace Cinemas BYRON BAY

3 March, 8pm, Palace Cinemas BYRON BAY

4 March, 8pm, Event Cinemas Kotara NEWCASTLE

9 March, 7pm, Mount Vic Flicks BLUE MOUNTAINS

+ check online for updates

From March 10, general admission screenings are scheduled around the country. The team then also invites people to host their own ‘on demand’ screenings.

More information,