Here’s a story for the nightly news: a plucky upstart overcomes establishment hostility to reach a seemingly impossible goal. The problem is that the nightly news is the establishment, and the Gosnell Movie project, which just reached its initial crowd-funding goal, deals with something they don’t want to talk about.
Headed by producer Phelim McAleer and wife Ann McElhinney, the Gosnell Movie campaign has reached its initial goal of raising $2.1 million from more than 23,000 individual donors through the crowd-funding site Indiegogo. The money raised will fund a scripted TV drama based on abortionist Kermit Gosnell’s trial and grand jury report. But McAleer and McElhenny aren’t done.
Abortion Dr. Kermit Gosnell was convicted last May of murdering babies in his Philadelphia clinic. Only 12-15 reporters attended the trial, in which witnesses described baby abortion survivors “swimming” in toilets. Not until after public pressure and letters from members of the House of Representatives did all three broadcast networks cover the story.
McAleer was determined to hold the media accountable. “The media and Hollywood normally love serial killers,” he told CMI. “There are movie and whole TV series devoted to the genre, but for some reason there were no plans to tell the truth about Kermit Gosnell and his crimes.” The project would “show that there was a public appetite for this truth to be told and that’s why we decided to crowd-fund the project.”
But having reached the financial goal, despite censorship from Kickstarter, their original crowd-funding site, and media silence when they surpassed Spike Lee’s crowd-funding record, they now have another objective in the campaign. They’re initiating a “stretch goal,” a procedure introduced by many projects after they reach their initial target.
The stretch goal isn’t financial. “We want to build an army,” said McAleer. “We want 30,000 people to donate to the project – we want to send a message to the networks and cable channels that there is an audience out there and we want to prove that by showing all these people were willing to pay for this film to be made.” He stressed that even giving just a dollar helps drive home the point: exposing the media’s near-blackout of the story.