Director Paula Eiselt and Tonya Lewis Lee explore the American Maternal Health Care Crisis as first-time Sundance Documentary Filmmakers.
The film will stream via Hulu within the U.S., Star+ in Latin America, and Disney+ in All Other Territories.
- The news was announced today. Onyx Collective and ABC News broadcast a partnership for the deal to acquire the award-winning documentary “Aftershock,” following its debut as an official selection in the U.S. documentary competition at 2022’s Sundance Film Festival. The film won the U.S. Documentary Special Jury Award in The Impact for Change category.
- The documentary will be available as an original Onyx Collective on Hulu in the U.S., Star+ in Latin America, and Disney+ across all other territories.
- Logline: An alarmingly disproportionate number of Black women are unable to meet their needs annually by the U.S. maternal health system. Shamony Gibson and Amber Rose Isaac were vibrant pregnant mothers whose deaths caused by complications during childbirth were avoidable. Their partners and family members are determined to make an alarm in the face of the gruesome yet unresolved issue.
The directors Paula Eiselt and Tonya Lewis Lee follow the story of Gibson and Isaac’s grieving friends, Omari Maynard and Bruce McIntyre, in their fight for justice and create support communities, connecting with other surviving Black fathers. Their tragic, personal stories are accompanied by a scathing historical context, demonstrating that gynecology has a long tradition of exploiting and neglecting Black females in America. In the words of the mother-to-be Felicia Ellis “A Black woman having babies is similar to a Black man waiting at a road stop and confronted by the police.” She stresses that attention to detail is crucial. “Aftershock” introduces a troubling truth to the forefront while uplifting family members, activists, and birth workers working to make a difference in the system and legislative change. They are not forgotten.
- Produced and directed by Paula Eiselt and Tonya Lewis Lee
- Executive Producers Dawn Porter, Jenny Raskin, Geralyn White Dreyfous, Patty Quillin, Jennifer, and Jonathan Allan Soros, Tegan Acton Emma Pompetti, Janet Taittinger, Davis Guggenheim, and Rahdi Taylor
- The total credits are available here.
- “‘Aftershock is an emotional and urgent story that deserves our focus,” says Tara Duncan, Onyx Collective and Freeform director. “Paula, along with Tonya, captures the strength and determination of Black families and are able to make an impactful change in the health crisis facing all women across America. I am honored to work in this endeavor with Kim Godwin and have Onyx Collective and ABC News honor and amplify the legacy of Shamony Gibson and Amber Rose Isaac.”
- “‘Aftershock is a vital and heartbreaking documentary about the experience of pregnancies for Black women. It immediately creates feelings of connection with the stories of mothers who have passed to the grave,” said Kim Godwin, the director of ABC News. “I’m extremely proud to see ABC News Studios, together with Tara Duncan and Onyx Collective, shine a light on the plight of an epidemic that impacts Black women in huge numbers. The path families and friends make to combat an unjust health system which has been unable to meet their needs is something that all people must see.”
- “We are delighted to be partnering in partnership with Disney’s Onyx Collective and ABC News to honor and improve those of Shamony Gibson and Amber Rose Isaac,” says Paula Eiselt and Tonya Lewis Lee, producers and directors. “We hope that viewers can be just as motivated and energized just as our families are inspired by their revolutionary efforts to ensure the highest quality birth outcome for everyone Americans.”
- “Aftershock” is the 2nd Sundance Film Festival acquisition for Disney’s Onyx Collective, following its debut film, “Summer of Soul,” which received the Academy Award (r) nomination.
- Cinetic Media closed the deal with Victoria Cook, Frankfurt Kurnit Klein & Selz.
About Paula Eiselt
Paula Eiselt directs and produces feature films that tell the story of remarkable characters that thrive in extraordinary situations. Her love of Verite stories about courageous trailblazers fighting for change led to an award-winning movie, “93Queen” (POV, HBO Max). The film is now “Aftershock,” Eiselt focuses her camera on her experience with the U.S. maternal health crisis to advocate for justice, reform, and preserve the memory.
Headshots can be found here.
About Tonya Lewis Lee
Tonya Lewis Lee is a producer, director, and writer whose storytelling is often a way to explore the personal consequences of civil rights and social justice concerns. Lewis Lee produced “Monster,” the adaptation of the Walter Dean Myers novel, which was screened during the 2018 Sundance Film Festival and currently streaming on Netflix. In the past, Lewis Lee co-directed and co-produced “Aftershock,” a film that explores how the U.S. maternal mortality crisis through the lens of personal experiences of women.
Headshots can be found here.
About Onyx Collective
Onyx Collective is a new content brand created as part of Disney General Entertainment Content (DGE) made to create an array of top entertainment content by artists of color and voices who are not represented in the mainstream. Onyx Collective ushers an exciting collection of programming for viewers across the globe, including the debut project of Queslove’s Oscar (r)-nominated and multi-award-winning documentaries “Summer of Soul (…Or when the Revolution Could Not Be broadcast)”; “The Hair Tales” produced by Executive Producers Tracee Ellis Ross Michaela A. Davis, as well as Oprah Winfrey; legal drama “Reasonable Doubt” with the executive producer team of Raamla Mohamed Kerry Washington and Larry Wilmore and Larry Wilmore; and a limited series “The Plot,” with executive producer and star twice Oscar-winning Mahershala Ali.
The roster of the brand’s famous creators includes comedian and writer Natasha Rothwell (“Insecure,” “SNL”) as well as director, writer, and producer Prentice Peny’s Penny for Your Thoughts, Ryan Coogler’s Proximity Media (“Judas and the Black Messiah,” Black Panther”) as well as director and writer Destin Daniel Cretton (“Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings”) and his production company Family Owned.
Follow us on Twitter @OnyxCollective
More About ABC News
ABC News is responsible for the entirety of The ABC Television Network’s News programs, including streaming, broadcast digital, and audio. The newscasts that have won awards include “Good Morning America,” World News Tonight” with David Muir,” “GMA3 The Essentials You Should Know,” Nightline,” “20/20,” and “This Week with George Stephanopoulos.” ABC’s “The View” was added to the news department in 2014, and “Tamron Hall” joined in 2021. Then, in the year, ABC News launched the 24/7 streaming news channel ABC News Live and acquired the renowned data journalism company FiveThirtyEight. NewsOne is the affiliate news channel of ABC News. It is a live service that provides packaged information, weather, and sports reports to more than 200 ABC affiliates and more than 30 international and domestic customers. Most people get their info via ABC News rather than from any other source.
ABC News Media Relations
The Disney Onyx Collective and ABC News have jointly acquired Aftershock, which won the Sundance Film Festival’s U.S. Special Jury Award in Documentary for Impact for Change upon its debut in the country this month. The latest film from the directors Paula Eiselt and Tonya Lewis Lee will be available as an original film by Onyx Collective on Hulu within the U.S., on Star+ in Latin America, and Disney+ in all other regions.
Aftershock highlights the alarmingly high number of Black women disadvantaged each time by the U.S. maternal health system. Shamony Gibson and Amber Rose Isaac were vibrant pregnant mothers whose deaths due to complications with childbirth were avoidable. Their partners and families are determined to issue an appeal to raise awareness about the gruesome yet unresolved issue.
Disney’s Onyx Collective and ABC News Acquire Award-Winning Sundance Doc “Aftershock” Will Stream On Hulu In U.S.