THE CONTROVERSIAL movie about abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell has reached its funding target on the crowdfunding website Indiegogo - smashing a series of records on the way to its $2.1m goal.
Gosnell is now by a huge margin, the most successful film project ever to be on Indiegogo, even beating projects from Hollywood celebrities such as James Franco.
It is also by far the most successful non-celebrity crowdfunded film on ANY crowdfunding platform.
Gosnell has so far raised $2.1m from over 23,000 contributors. The project closes to contributors at midnight Monday May 12th.
Kermit Gosnell was a Philadelphia abortion doctor who is currently serving several life sentences for murdering live, viable babies in his clinic. It is thought in his 40 year career he killed at least hundreds possibly thousands of babies. ABC correspondent Terry Moran described Gosnell as "America's most successful serial killer."
His case was particularly controversial because it went mostly unreported by the national media sparking a firestorm over accusations of media bias by pro-choice journalists who did not want to report anything that would reflect badly on abortion.
Producer Phelim McAleer said they were determined to tell the story of the life and crimes of Kermit Gosnell and determined to use crowdfunding to make the movie.
"The media and Hollywood normally love serial killers. There are movies 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. We were determined to change that and to show that their was a public appetite for this truth to be told and that's why we decided to crowdfund the project."
Producer Ann McElhinney said they were very grateful that so many people had contributed to ensure the Gosnell Movie gets made. "We are so thankful - it has been an incredibly moving experience. People have been sending small donations and inspiring messages. They felt compelled, often because of personal experience, to ensure the Gosnell Movie gets made. We are so, so, grateful for them. We will not let them down."
Producer Magdalena Segieda said she was looking forward to making the movie.
"This will be a TV drama. It will be in every home in America. Americans are fascinated with serial killers but they have never heard of Kermit Gosnell. Because of this crowdfunding campaign Kermit Gosnell's name will now be as well known as Jodi Arias and Ted Bundy. And that is fitting because Kermit Gosnell killed more than all the other serial killers combined. His story and the stories of his victims will now be told."
The Producers also announced that they were initiating a "stretch goal", a procedure introduced by many projects after they reach their initial target. They said their new goal was not financial.
"We want at least 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. We want more people to turn up to give even a dollar," said McAleer
Gosnell will be a TV drama, not a documentary as some of the outlets previously reported.
Under the fixed funding rules of their Indiegogo campaign the filmmakers do not receive any of the funds unless they reach their target of $2.1m. If they fail to reach the target the funds are returned to the contributors.
About the filmmakers
Phelim McAleer and Ann McElhinney are a married film making team. They work with Magdalena Segieda in their independent production company Hat Tip Films and are based in Los Angeles, CA.
Phelim McAleer is a filmmaker and investigative journalist. He most recently produced and directed FrackNation - a documentary to uncover the truth about Fracking. He has produced documentaries for CBC (Canada) and RTE (Ireland) and two independent feature length documentaries. Before becoming a filmmaker, Phelim was a foreign correspondent for the Financial Times in Eastern Europe. He also covered Romania and Bulgaria for The Economist. Before that he covered Ireland for the UK Sunday Times. He has worked as a filmmaker and journalist in many countries including Romania, Uganda, Madagascar, Bulgaria, Chile, Indonesia, Canada and China. McAleer has appeared on or is a regular contributor to an array of international media organizations including Fox News, CNN and the BBC. He has been interviewed on over 100 US and international radio shows.
Ann McElhinney is a filmmaker and investigative journalist most recently producing and directing FrackNation. She has produced documentaries for the BBC, CBC (Canada) and RTE (Ireland). She has written for a series of newspapers including The UK Sunday Times and the Irish Times. Ann has worked as a filmmaker and journalist in many countries including Indonesia, Romania, Vietnam, Cambodia, Uganda, Madagascar and Uzbekistan. She has appeared on or is a regular contributor to an array of international media organizations including ABC, BBC, CBC (Canada), ABC (Australia), RTE (Ireland) and Fox News. She is a regular on a number of US talk radio shows including Hugh Hewitt and the Dennis Miller. A well known public speaker she has spoken most recently at conferences in Washington DC, New York, San Francisco, Las Vegas, Toronto, Phoenix, San Diego, St. Louis, Santa Barbara and Salt Lake City.
Magdalena Segieda was born in 1982 in Szczecin, Poland. She studied political science and international relations. In 2007, she worked on a documentary for Polish state television (TVP), shot in Dublin. Right after, she met two Irish filmmakers, Ann McElhinney and Phelim McAleer. McElhinney and McAleer had just returned to Ireland to start pre-production for a feature documentary, Not Evil Just Wrong. Ms Segieda was involved in all aspects of the production of the film. Ms Segieda moved with the filmmakers to Washington, DC and worked on the independent distribution of the film. After the team relocated to Los Angeles, she worked on “Hypocrites,” a series of short films, released online, taking a critical look at celebrities who run anti-development environmental campaigns. Most recently, she co-directed the feature length documentary FrackNation - A journalist's search for the fracking truth.