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In October 2019, 30-year-old Shamony Gibson tragically died after being ignored by medical providers 13 days following the birth of her son.  Two months later, we began filming Shamony's surviving mother, Shawnee Benton Gibson, and bereaved partner, Omari Maynard, as they began to process what happened and figure out their new normal. 

In April 2020, 26-year-old Amber Rose Isaac, died due to an emergency c-section that stemmed from medical negligence. Within weeks of Amber's death, Omari reaches out to Amber's surviving partner Bruce McIntyre and a lifelong bond is formed. Together, Omari and Bruce begin the fight for justice to their partners with their families and community by their side, while caring for their children as newly single parents.

Through the film, we witness these two families become ardent activists in the maternal health space, seeking justice through legislation, medical accountability, community, and the power of art. Their work introduces us to a myriad of people including a growing brotherhood of surviving Black fathers, along with the work of midwives and physicians on the ground fighting for institutional reform. Through their collective journeys, we find ourselves on the front lines of the growing birth justice movement that is demanding systemic change within our medical system and government.

The Filmmakers

Paula Eiselt Director and Producer

Paula Eiselt is an independent filmmaker drawn to stories that disrupt strong-held assumptions. A co-production with ITVS/PBS and Arte/SWR,  her award-winning documentary feature debut 93Queen was released theatrically across the U.S. and Canada, including a six week hold over at NYC’s IFC Center. Now streaming across HBOMax’s U.S and Latin American platforms, 93Queen was broadcast nationally on PBS’s POV, as well as internationally on ARTE in France and Germany, UR in Sweden, yes DocU in Israel, and CBC in Canada. 93Queen played at over 75 film festivals worldwide and was selected for the U.S. State Department’s American Film Showcase.

Paula is currently a fellow at Laurene Powell Jobs and Davis Guggenheim’s Concordia Studio where she developed her latest feature length documentary Aftershock, now in post-production. 
Her work has been supported by ITVS, the Sundance Institute Documentary Film Fund, Sundance Catalyst, Impact Partners, American Stories Documentary Fund (sponsored by CNN Films), Points North Institute, Just Films | Ford Foundation, NYSCA, Fork Films, Gucci Tribeca Doc Fund, IDA Enterprise Fund, IDA Pare Lorentz Doc Fund, Chicago Media Project, the Hartley Film Foundation, IFP, and Women Make Movies.

Paula is previously a Sundance Producers Summit fellow and IFP Filmmaker Lab fellow.
In 2019, Paula was named one of the Jewish Week's “36 Under 36” for her role in amplifying women's voices and serves on the board of the Jewish Orthodox Feminist Alliance. Paula is a graduate of NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts with a double major in Film Production and Cinema Studies. She lives in New Jersey with her husband and their 4 children. 

Tonya Lewis Lee Director and Producer

Producer, writer, entrepreneur & women’s health advocate, Tonya Lewis Lee has spent over twenty years delivering quality content across multiple platforms.

Tonya’s most recent series SHE’S GOTTA HAVE IT is now streaming on Netflix. Her most recent film MONSTER premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2018 is also currently streaming on Netflix. 

For over a decade, Tonya has produced scripted and unscripted work, including such classics as MIRACLE’S BOYS, a six-part television series, and the television film THE WATSONS GO TO BIRMINGHAM, based on the Christopher Paul Curtis novel.

In  2009, Tonya produced the documentary CRISIS IN 
THE CRIB for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, exploring infant mortality in the United States.

Tonya is a member of the Writers Guild of America and a member of PGA’s Producers Council Board of Delegates, and Co-Chair of the One Guild committee advancing diversity, equity and inclusion.  She is also a member of the board of trustees of the March of Dimes.  Tonya is also a mother of two adult children and lives in New York City with her husband.

Festivals & Awards

Sundance Film Festival


U.S. Documentary Special Jury Award: Impact for Change 

An alarmingly disproportionate number of Black women are failed every year by the U.S. maternal health system. Shamony Gibson and Amber Rose Isaac were vibrant, excited mothers-to-be whose deaths due to childbirth complications were preventable. Now, their partners and families are determined to sound a rallying cry around this chilling yet largely ignored crisis.

Directors Paula Eiselt and Tonya Lewis Lee follow Gibson’s and Isaac’s bereaved partners, Omari Maynard and Bruce McIntyre, as they fight for justice and build communities of support, bonding especially with other surviving Black fathers. Their tragic, individual experiences are punctuated with condemning historical context, showing that gynecology has a long-standing history of exploiting and neglecting Black women in America. In the arresting words of mother-to-be Felicia Ellis, “A Black woman having a baby is like a Black man at a traffic stop with the police.” She emphasizes that paying attention is paramount. Aftershock brings an unsettling reality to the forefront while uplifting the families, activists, and birth workers who are striving to bring institutional change and legislative reform. These mothers will not be forgotten.

+ Festival Website


A necessary watch...[AFTERSHOCK] turns unthinkable loss into a life-affirming project.”

-IndieWire, Critic's Pick

Gripping [and] revelatory...Perhaps AFTERSHOCK's greatest achievement is its refusal to peddle in hopelessness...A powerful reminder that if Black lives matter then Black wombs must matter, too.”

-The Hollywood Reporter

A vital and moving documentary that shows the lives behind shameful statistics.”