Made in Boise

Meet four women who carry babies for parents who can’t carry their own in the unlikely surrogacy capital of America—Boise, Idaho.

mother Shannon holding newborn baby
Independent Lens
Premiere Date
October 28, 2019
90 minutes
Funding Initiative
Open Call
  • Nominated laurels-r Created with Sketch.
    2019 News and Documentary Emmy Awards-Outstanding Business and Economic Documentary
  • Producer/Director

    Beth Aala

    Beth Aala is a three-time Emmy award-winning producer and recipient of a Peabody Award for her documentary work at HBO. Beth’s most recent feature documentary, Rancher, Farmer, Fisherman (Sundance, 2017), which she co-directed and produced. Beth was nominated for the 2015 News and Documentary Emmy Awards for her film, Supermensch: The Legend of Shep Gordon Show more (Toronto International Film Festival, 2013), which she directed and produced with Mike Myers. It won the 2014 Hollywood Film Award for best documentary. Her directorial debut, Pool Party is the untold story of McCarren Pool turned music venue in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, featuring music and performances by the Beastie Boys, The Breeders, M.I.A, Sharon Jones, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Sonic Youth and Yo La Tengo. It played in festivals around the world. Show less

    filmmaker Beth Levison

    Beth Levison

    Levison is an Emmy and Peabody-winning independent producer in NYC. Her most recently produced film, WOMEN IN BLUE, about gender, race and violence in America through the eyes of female police officers with the Minneapolis Police Department, is being shown as a “Work in Progress” at AFI DOCS 2020. That film will broadcast on Independent Lens in 2021. MADE IN BOISE, Show more premiered at AFI DOCS 2019, was the series opener of Independent Lens’ 2019/2020 season, and is currently available internationally. Previously produced projects include the Emmy-nominated Personal Statement (PBS 2018) and 32 Pills: My Sister’s Suicide (HBO 2017). Levison is a co-founder of the Documentary Producers Alliance, faculty with SVA’s MFA program in Social Documentary Film, and a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Show less

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    The Film

    Made In Boise introduces audiences to the unique world of surrogacy in the most unexpected of places. As the number of surrogate births surges across the country, the surprising epicenter of the movement is Boise, Idaho, where hundreds of women are choosing to be surrogates. For women who struggle with infertility, gay couples, and single men, this booming yet unregulated industry is often the last resort to become a parent. The film intimately follows four surrogates, and the parents whose children they carry, as they navigate the rigors of pregnancy and the mixed feelings of their own families, who struggle to understand their choice to risk the physical and emotional complications of carrying babies for someone else.