Abby Johnson, portrayed by Ashley Bratcher, reacts to what she is seeing on the ultrasound screen while assisting with an abortion in this clip from the movie "Unplanned." CNS photo/courtesy www.Unplannedfilm.com

Pro-life movie ‘Unplanned’ lands Canadian distribution deal

By  Kyle Greenham, Canadian Catholic News
  • June 12, 2019

After a heated battle that included petitions and a national boycott, the controversial pro-life film Unplanned has finally landed a distribution deal in Canada.

The film   based on the memoir of Abby Johnson, a former Planned Parenthood director turned pro-life advocate will be distributed across Canada by the independent distributor Cinedicom.

“The response is excellent so far; there is a good demand for the movie,” said Cinedicom president BJ McKelvie, noting his company is pitching the film to theatres across Canada.

The filmmakers expect to see Unplanned shown in 100 to 200 theatres. The independent film was originally released in the U.S. March 29 and has grossed more than $18 million.

Information on the showings will be available online at unplannedtickets.com. Until now, Canada’s only public screening of Unplanned was at the Edmonton Expo Centre on May 14, hosted by Harvest Ministries International.

The independent distribution deal comes after efforts to have Cineplex Entertainment, which owns 80 per cent of the movie theatres in Canada, screen the film in its theatres. 

Cineplex Entertainment stated it could not screen the film in its theatres because it needed a distributor, though Unplanned producers believe it’s because of the film’s pro-life message. 

Controversial films on the big screen are not new to us and we have a long legacy of not censoring content, as it is our role as a film exhibitor to provide our guests with movie choices,” a Cineplex spokesperson said.

With the road clear to have Unplanned in Canadian theatres, directors Cary Solomon and Chuck Konzelman are confident it will bring the abortion debate to the country’s political forefront.

“This is the most important movie anyone will ever see on the most controversial issue of our time,” Solomon and Konzelman said. “When Unplanned comes to Canadian theatres, this movie will make abortion unpopular.

“This is the movie that no one wants you to see and it took a petition, a boycott and a brave independent distributor who would boldly bring this movie to the people of Canada.”

Pro-life advocate Ruth Shaw believes Unplanned will have an especially powerful effect on young people, who are often shown only the pro-choice side of the abortion issue.

“This is a wake-up call movie,” said Shaw, the executive director with the National Campus Life Network, a pro-life group that works with university students. “I have never seen a movie so boldly depict the reality of abortion. This movie can reshape the narrative for young people everywhere.”

(Grandin Media)

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