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Behind the Scenes Photos:
Documentarian Chronicling Star August

Mia Harvey, student at National Film & Television School (and BBC Scholorship Awardee) has been following Star August Ali, President and CoFounder of HBC, through her patient visits, advocacy efforts, and everyday life. The documentary, set to release later this year, will chronicle Star and several other Chicago-area women’s experience and intimacy while planning and giving birth — and the realities of working with a community based homebirth provider.

“I was inspired to make this film after hearing my grandmother talk about the community midwifes in Barbados back in colonial times. She would tell me about the community women who would deliver everybody’s babies and the traditions that were passed down from generation to generation. This led me to consider how I would like to give birth and what are the risks that I could encounter in the system that has become so medicalised.
In Illinois Black women are eight times more likely to die in childbirth. I hope this film will show how the Black community, especially Black women, have come together to fight back and improve healthcare disparities.” – Mia Harvey

“I was inspired to make this film after hearing my grandmother talk about the community midwifes in Barbados back in colonial times. She would tell me about the community women who would deliver everybody’s babies and the traditions that were passed down from generation to generation. This led me to consider how I would like to give birth and what are the risks that I could encounter in the system that has become so medicalised.
In Illinois Black women are eight times more likely to die in childbirth. I hope this film will show how the Black community, especially Black women, have come together to fight back and improve healthcare disparities.” – Mia Harvey

Mia is a 27 year old British emerging documentary filmmaker of British and Barbadian heritage. She is currently studying Directing Documentary MA at the National Film and Television School where she was awarded a BBC Scholarship which is funded and supported by BBC Studios. She has worked in the TV Industry for five years as an assistant producer, working on BAFTA nominated productions such as Black Power: A British Story of Resistance (BBC ONE) which was executive produced by Steve McQueen and James Rogan. Her other credits include The Truth About Police Stop and Search (Channel 4) and the longitudinal observational documentary series This is Our Family (SKY). She is currently working on a single for Channel 4 and she was selected for Sheffield Doc Fest UK Broadcast Production Talent Market 2021. 

Film
In Illinois Black women are 8 times more likely to die in childbirth than white women. With Woman (working title) follows Sister Star, a Black student midwife helping women of colour give birth at home in Illinois. Sensitively following her on prenatal visits, the birth and then ending with postpartum care of mother and baby. We learn what motivates her and the barriers that herself and other Black women in the US have to overcome to give birth safely. Taking note from the long tradition of Black midwifery, we see the relationship and connection she builds with her clients and community and how she supports them both medically and emotionally in the most important and vulnerable days of their life. The film will be 20 minutes long and filmed in Black and white in observational, fly-on-the wall style.

Mia's Aims and Intentions
I’m aiming to reflect the resurgence of midwifery in the United States and show a US and UK audience how healing and beautiful the midwifery model of giving birth is. I would love to capture the important connection between mother and midwife, female empowerment is very much at the center of this film.
The film is made as part of my course so will be viewed by students, and staff as well as industry professionals from the BBC, Netflix at the graduation showcase at a major cinema in London in Jan 2023. NFTS also submits film to major film festivals and are usually very successful.

Learn more about NFTS.

Behind the Scenes Photos: Documentarian Chronicling Star August

Mia Harvey, student at National Film & Television School (and BBC Scholorship Awardee) has been following Star August Ali, President and CoFounder of HBC, through her patient visits, advocacy efforts, and everyday life. The documentary, set to release later this year, will chronicle Star and several other Chicago-area women’s experience and intimacy while planning and giving birth — and the realities of working with a community based homebirth provider.

“I was inspired to make this film after hearing my grandmother talk about the community midwifes in Barbados back in colonial times. She would tell me about the community women who would deliver everybody’s babies and the traditions that were passed down from generation to generation. This led me to consider how I would like to give birth and what are the risks that I could encounter in the system that has become so medicalised.
In Illinois Black women are eight times more likely to die in childbirth. I hope this film will show how the Black community, especially Black women, have come together to fight back and improve healthcare disparities.” – Mia Harvey

Mia is a 27 year old British emerging documentary filmmaker of British and Barbadian heritage. She is currently studying Directing Documentary MA at the National Film and Television School where she was awarded a BBC Scholarship which is funded and supported by BBC Studios. She has worked in the TV Industry for five years as an assistant producer, working on BAFTA nominated productions such as Black Power: A British Story of Resistance (BBC ONE) which was executive produced by Steve McQueen and James Rogan. Her other credits include The Truth About Police Stop and Search (Channel 4) and the longitudinal observational documentary series This is Our Family (SKY). She is currently working on a single for Channel 4 and she was selected for Sheffield Doc Fest UK Broadcast Production Talent Market 2021. 

Film
In Illinois Black women are 8 times more likely to die in childbirth than white women. With Woman (working title) follows Sister Star, a Black student midwife helping women of colour give birth at home in Illinois. Sensitively following her on prenatal visits, the birth and then ending with postpartum care of mother and baby. We learn what motivates her and the barriers that herself and other Black women in the US have to overcome to give birth safely. Taking note from the long tradition of Black midwifery, we see the relationship and connection she builds with her clients and community and how she supports them both medically and emotionally in the most important and vulnerable days of their life. The film will be 20 minutes long and filmed in Black and white in observational, fly-on-the wall style.

Mia's Aims and Intentions
I’m aiming to reflect the resurgence of midwifery in the United States and show a US and UK audience how healing and beautiful the midwifery model of giving birth is. I would love to capture the important connection between mother and midwife, female empowerment is very much at the center of this film.
The film is made as part of my course so will be viewed by students, and staff as well as industry professionals from the BBC, Netflix at the graduation showcase at a major cinema in London in Jan 2023. NFTS also submits film to major film festivals and are usually very successful.

Learn more about NFTS.