Once effectively banned in Canada, the pro-life film “Unplanned,” about the one-time Planned Parenthood clinic director turned pro-life activist Abby Johnson, may be shown in the country after all.
The film’s producers are currently in negotiations with distributors and a deal may soon be announced in which the film could be shown in up to 20 theaters. Co-director Cary Solomon credited the outpouring of support from pro-lifers, including a recent public screening of the movie in Edmonton, at which 3,000 people packed into the Edmonton Expo Center to watch the film. The event was attended by major social media influencers who helped to spark conversation and spread the word.
“On the May 14th screening there were some influencers in the room, and the next morning conversations were already happening,” pro-life activist and TV host Faytene Grasseschi said of the event. “We decided to really capitalize on the momentum coming out of Edmonton and launch a Canada-wide plan to reinforce that Canadians want this film.”
The plan is a successful cinema boycott campaign called “Canada wants Unplanned,” which was signed by over 5,000 people. “Canadians want to hear Abby’s story,” says the website, which has a place to register a participant’s boycott, and also a copy-and-paste letter to send to Cineplex.
#UnPlannedMovie makes international news, but won’t make some international theaters. Because @WhatDidAbbySee? is a question Canada won’t let you see.
Or will they?
Pitch in & support grassroots groundswells for the film: https://t.co/pvMG1ZWii4#MondayMotivation #LLYMI
— UnplannedMovie (@UnplannedMovie) May 27, 2019
Cineplex, the largest theater chain in Canada, holds a virtual monopoly on the film industry in the country and has said it has not picked up the film due to a lack of a distributor – a claim Grasseschi said she doubts. “A distributor has not picked it up ̶ some don’t want to touch it or they couldn’t do it ̶ but Cineplex is not powerless in this industry,” she said. “As a business that owns 80% of the theatres in this country, these are good businesspeople. They know this is profitable film, and if there was a strong will within the Cineplex executives, they could probably do it with a phone call.”
According to Unplanned’s writer/producer/director Chuck Konzelman, Cineplex and Mongrel Media had cited “content” as the reason for not picking up the film, despite there being “nothing objectionable in the film; no foul language, no nudity, no sexuality, and the only violence is that which is necessarily connected with an abortion procedure.”
Despite facing a ban from advertising with certain media outlets, and an R-rating, the movie, with an initial budget of $6 million, has grossed $18 million at the box office since its release in March.
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