A trio of filmmakers who have tackled conservative subjects in the past now want to make a TV movie on Kermit Gosnell, a Philadelphia abortion doctor serving a life sentence for killing live-born babies.
Husband and wife Phelim McAleer and Ann McElhinney, working with Magdalena Segieda, are attempting the to crowd-fund the project
through McAleer's Hat Tip Productions. They have reached more than half their goal of $2.1 million.
Crowd funding is a method of seeking donations from individuals rather than going through traditional studios.
McAleer and partners turned to the crowd funding website Indiegogo
after McAleer said Kickstarter, which they had used for previous projects, accused them of not complying with the spirit of the site's community guidelines for using the line "thousands of babies murdered."
"This was shocking — and even more so when I looked at which projects don't violate those standards," McAleer wrote in an April 7 New York Post op-ed.
Even if he made changes, Kickstarter reserved the right to pull the project later, he wrote, so he turned to Indiegogo.
The Gosnell project ended up setting a record for crowd funding at the site. The record for all crowd-funded projects, the "Veronica Mars" movie, pulled in $5.7 million on Kickstarter.
The Gosnell filmmakers have until May 12 to raise the money or the pledges made will not be accepted. But McAleer tells Newsmax he is confident they'll make the goal if the current momentum holds.
Actors Kevin Sorbo, who stars in the current faith-based theatrical hit "God's Not Dead," and Nick Searcy of the FX series "Justified" have lent their names to the campaign, but McAleer says no actors have been signed yet. He's too busy raising funds.
Once they reach their goal, they'll start looking at actors, writers and directors, McAleer said.
Though McAleer says they went the crowd-funding route because major studios wouldn't have touched the project, he has no doubt he'll find a broadcast or cable network to air it once shot.
"There will be at least 20,000 who have literally bought into this film already — it has had enormous media attention — it is a competitive TV world," he tells Newsmax. "The people who have paid for this film have families and friends. It is a built-in audience that TV companies cannot ignore."
McAleer has previously released documentaries that counter environmental claims in Al Gore's movie "An Inconvenient Truth" and the anti-fracking movie "Gasland." He and his partners decided to go with a docudrama on Gosnell to reach a wider audience.
"Americans are fascinated about crime and are particularly fascinated about serial killers," he said. "There have been three movies about Ted Bundy, five about the Zodiac Killer. The list is endless."
But Gosnell, who was accused by employees of killing "hundreds" of live-born babies and running a dirty, unregulated facility that even wrote painkiller prescriptions for cash, has been ignored, McAleer said.
"This serial killer was an abortionist who was completely unregulated. His trial threw up ugly realities about abortion that changed the minds of several jurors, a liberal journalist at the trial and even Gosnell's defense attorney. Hollywood, with its Planned Parenthood fundraisers, would want to stay away from this case," McAleer wrote in his New York Post piece.
Even the grisly Gosnell story didn't get much attention in mainstream media outside the Philadelphia market.
Melinda Henneberger of The Washington Post
agreed that the media didn't do its job, writing, "We didn't write more because the only abortion story most outlets ever cover in the news pages is every single threat or perceived threat to abortion rights."
"In fact, that is so fixed a view of what constitutes coverage of that issue that it's genuinely hard, I think, for many journalists to see a story outside that paradigm as news. That's not so much a conscious decision as a reflex, but the effect is one-sided coverage."
But McAleer hopes to get the word out.
"We want the Kermit Gosnell story to be in every home in America and to be watched by large numbers," he told Newsmax.
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