INSPIRED BY IVF STORIES OF ACTUAL COUPLES,
JUSTINA MACHADO AND SKYLER SAMUELS STAR IN NEW ORIGINAL MOVIE
"SWITCHED BEFORE BIRTH"
DIRECTED BY ELISABETH ROHM
DEBUTING THIS FALL ON LIFETIME,
MOVIE DEPICTS THE IVF JOURNEYS OF TWO WOMEN
STRUGGLING TO BECOMING MOTHERS
LOS ANGELES, CA (July 21, 2021) - Ahead of the anniversary of the world's first baby born via in vitro fertilization, July 25, 1978, and 40 years since the birth of the first American infant born through IVF, Lifetime announces Switched Before Birth, a moving story about two women's fertility journeys, starring Justina Machado (One Day at a Time, Family Pictures) and Skyler Samuels (Scream Queens, The Gifted and American Horror Story: Freak Show). Inspired by IVF stories of actual couples, the powerful film follows two strangers whose paths intersect and become forever intertwined following their IVF procedures. Directed by Elisabeth Rohm, author of Baby Steps: Having the Child I Always Wanted, Switched Before Birth delves into the complicated subject of the federally unregulated fertility industry and fertility challenges that many women around the world are facing as they try to build their families.
Switched Before Birth follows Olivia Crawford (Samuels) and her husband Brian (Bo Yokely), who after multiple miscarriages, numerous failed IVF trials and stretching themselves to the limit financially, finally receive the joyous news that she's pregnant with twins. While going through her latest round of IVF, Oliva meets and became fast friends with Anna Ramirez (Machado), who is struggling to have a child after years of focusing on her successful restaurants. When Anna becomes pregnant as well, the ladies celebrate and begin to prepare for their babies. Olivia is also there for Anna when she suffers a devastating miscarriage and struggles to move forward while her marriage to restaurateur Gabe Ramirez (Yancey Arias) crumbles. When Olivia and Brian finally welcome their twins Olivia's life feels complete, but the happy couple's world is turned upside down when they discover that not only are the babies not twins, but one of the babies is also biologically Anna and Gabe's that was implanted into Olivia by mistake. Now pitted against each other, Olivia will do anything to keep the baby that she carried, while Anna will stop at nothing to bring her son home.
(L to R) Bo Yokely as Brian, director Elisabeth Rohm and Skyler Samuels as Olivia
Switched Before Birth marks a reunion for Elisabeth Rohm and Justina Machado, who both worked on Lifetime's Family Pictures, based on the bestselling novel of the same name. Rohm also recently made her directorial debut with Girl in the Basement as part of Lifetime's Broader Focus initiative, which champions hiring women both in front of the camera and in key production roles. Author, director, actress, advocate, and co-founder of The RESPECT Project, Elisabeth Rohm brings a unique perspective to the topic as she has worked with RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association. In addition, she's shared her personal fertility journey while blogging for People.com and in her book Baby Steps.
Switched Before Birth is produced by Big Dreams Entertainment and Swirl for Lifetime. Leslie Greif, Laurie Pozmantier and Stacy Mandelberg serve as executive producers and Elisabeth Rohm directs a script from Kelly Fullerton. Eric Tomosunas also serves as executive producer and Alex Kerr and Ron Robinson serve as producers.
World IVF Day celebrates the world's first IVF baby and according to recent data, it's estimated that 15% of couples will have trouble conceiving (UCLA Health 2020). With more and more women turning to fertility experts to help them create the families they have always dreamed of, devastating mishaps and regulatory gaps have been exposed within the industry. With lack of federal government regulatory oversight, there are little repercussions for facilities that misplace genetic material or make other mistakes that have lasting effects. Additionally, states don't regulate how many children may be conceived from one donor, what types of medical information is supplied by donors, which genetic tests may be performed on embryos, how many fertilized eggs may be placed or how old a donor can be.
ABOUT BIG DREAMS ENTERTAINMENT
Big Dreams Entertainment is a full-service production company with a programming footprint in multiple genres. Founded in 2018 by industry veteran Leslie Greif, the company is a major supplier of movies for Lifetime, including the recent hit GIRL IN THE BASEMENT starring Judd Nelson and directed by Elisabeth Rohm. Big Dreams has a straight to series order currently in production on the high profile, ten-part limited series THE OFFER for Paramount+ about the making of The Godfather. Dexter Fletcher (Rocketman, Bohemian Rhapsody) directing with a cast including Miles Teller and Juno Temple. Greif and Big Dreams produced the two-part event documentary KISSTORY for A&E which also premiered opening night of the Tribeca Film Festival. As a follow up to 2019's successful EGYPT LIVE special on Discovery which aired in 95 countries, Big Dreams is partnering with Discovery again on multiple Egypt-related programming including a special on the opening of the new Grand Egyptian Museum as well as a special on the 100th anniversary of Howard Carter's King Tut find.
Celebrating 35 years of entertaining audiences, Lifetime is a premier entertainment destination for women dedicated to offering the highest quality original programming spanning award-winning movies, high-quality scripted series and breakout non-fiction series. Lifetime has an impressive legacy in public affairs, bringing attention to social issues that women care about with initiatives such as the long running Stop Breast Cancer for Life now in its 25th year, Stop Violence Against Women which relaunched in 2018, and Broader Focus, a major global initiative dedicated to supporting and hiring female directors, writers and producers, including women of color, to make its content. Lifetime Television(R), LMN(R), Lifetime Real Women(R) and Lifetime Digital(TM) are part of Lifetime Entertainment Services, LLC, a subsidiary of A+E Networks. A+E Networks is a joint venture of the Disney-ABC Television Group and Hearst Corporation.