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on the record


Every Mother Counts and Arkansas Cinema Society to Host World Premiere of “Giving Birth in America: Arkansas”

Kody Ford

Arkansas Cinema Society will partner with Every Mother Counts (EMC)–a worldwide nonprofit whose mission is to make pregnancy and childbirth safe, equitable and respectful for every mother, everywhere–to host the world premiere of the “Giving Birth in America: Arkansas” short film at the Capital Hotel, located at 111 W. Markham Ave. in Little Rock, on Wednesday, April 26th. Christy Turlington Burns, EMC founder and president and executive producer of the film, will attend the screening and provide welcome remarks. 

The world premier event will kick off with a reception at 5:30 p.m., followed by opening remarks from Burns and the screening at 6:30 p.m. Arkansas-based experts in the fields of obstetrics, gynecology and maternal health will lead an engaging Q+A with screening attendees from 7-8 p.m. Talkback subject matter experts include William Greenfield, M.D., Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at UAMS; Zenobia Harris, DNP, MPH, executive director of the Arkansas Birthing Project; and Sarita Hendrix, CD, CLC, co-founder of Ujima Maternity Network

All events will take place in the Capital Hotel’s Baxter Room. There is no cost to attend the public reception, screening and talkback. However, attendees are required to register in advance at A limited number of tickets are available.

Giving Birth in America: Arkansas” is the newest chapter in Every Mother Counts’ “Giving Birth in America” film series. The 20-minute film spotlights Arkansas, the state with the highest maternal mortality rate in the United States. The film follows three Arkansas mothers as they grapple with mental health concerns, lack of paid leave and other challenges in the days, weeks and months following birth. Their compelling stories paint a vivid picture of the reality of the postpartum experience and the essential role of community-based support. 

A mother, model, filmmaker and advocate, Burns established Every Mother Counts in 2010, following the release of her documentary film “No Woman, No Cry.” After experiencing her own childbirth complications, she learned that hundreds of thousands of women die every year because they do not have access to the maternity and postpartum care they need. She has since dedicated her work to improving access to maternal care across the world. 

“As part of Every Mother Counts’ mission, we’ve leveraged storytelling to highlight the maternal health crisis in the United States. Using short films focusing on different states, we’ve given mothers, providers and advocates a platform to share their stories,” said Burns. “Since Arkansas has the highest maternal mortality rate in the country, we knew it was essential to highlight this state’s maternal health crisis. I hope these stories encourage individuals to join the movement for maternal health and safe, equitable childbirth.” 

ACS Executive Director Kathryn Tucker is delighted to be a part of such an important event.

“As a mother of two children, this is a subject that is incredibly close to my heart,” said Tucker. “Given the issues surrounding childbirth in Arkansas, it’s critical to highlight this issue on a local level and advocate for safer conditions for expectant mothers in our state. We are so grateful to have the opportunity to share this impactful film and hear from filmmaker Christy Turlington Burns about all of her hard work and advocacy surrounding this crisis.”

About Every Mother Counts

Founded by Christy Turlington Burns in 2010, Every Mother Counts (EMC) is a New York-based nonprofit organization that is dedicated to making pregnancy and childbirth safe for every mother. The organization informs, engages and mobilizes new audiences to take actions and raise funds that support maternal health programs around the world. Since its founding, EMC has invested more than $24 million through over 100 grants that support proven models of care in 16 countries across the world. EMC’s grantmaking has directly impacted more than 1 million people. For more information, visit

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At  ACS, we believe that if we provide filmmakers an arena to exhibit their talents, and film enthusiasts a healthy diet of quality programming, we can inspire more Arkansans to make and watch more films. By supporting filmmakers, festivals, theaters and young people interested in filmmaking throughout the state, we hope to create statewide network, pool Arkansas’s resources and be an umbrella organization that feeds all things film. We believe a rising tide lifts all boats.


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