Abortion Industry Ramps Up Fundraising with Annual ‘RePro’ Film Fest

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NBC

The abortion industry is seeking another influx of cash from the second rePro Film Fest, August 9-18, that will showcase feature and short films that focus on the industry’s narrative that now combines abortion with social justice activism.

According to the film fest’s opening press release, topics covered in the films include “equal access to abortion, criminalization of bodily autonomy, gender stereotyping, reproductive health concerns, postpartum depression, reproductive justice for women of color, among others.”

RePro says feature films will include Leah Galant and Maya Cueva’s On the Divide, “about three Latinx people’s weaving stories related to the last abortion clinic on the U.S/Mexico border”; Celina Escher’s Fly So Far, a documentary “about the true story of a 9 month miscarriage that led to Teodora Vásquez being accused of killing her own baby by police in El Salvador”; and Marion Lipschutz and Rose Rosenblatt’s Bei Bei, a film “that follows a pregnant Chinese immigrant who faces 45 years-to-life in prison when she survives a suicide attempt and her baby doesn’t.”

This year’s rePro films will also include “Call-to-Action Conversations,” which the abortion rights advocates describe as “a series of engaging discussions with filmmakers, activists, and experts around various reproductive justice topics.”

“All ticket proceeds for the festival will be evenly split and donated to three reproductive rights non-profit beneficiaries,” rePro Film Fest announced.

The organization touted as well that “100% of all rePro Film Fest films are directed by individuals using she/her pronouns, 67% are directed by BIPOC [Black, Indigenous, (and) People of Color], or AAPI [Asian American and Pacific Islander] individuals.”

Co-founders of the rePRO film festival include mixed martial artist Mallory Martin, founder of mama.film Lela Meadow-Conner, and Debby Samples, marketing director at Cleveland International Film Festival.

Abortion rights activist Jill Lafer, former board chair of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, has also joined with the three rePro Film Fest co-founders.

The organizers said in a statement:

As we enter our second edition of rePRO Film Fest, we celebrate that for the first time in history our second-in-command has a uterus, but also recognize the threat to women’s bodily autonomy remains constant – both around the world and here in the U.S. Storytelling – especially film – is an incredible entry point into dialogue and discourse around reproductive justice. All too often, these issues become politicized and the women* behind these lived experiences are forgotten. We are thankful to the filmmakers who are brave enough to tell these stories and are also excited to highlight our three beneficiary organizations who are on the ground, doing the good work.

Organizers state the rePro Film Fest was founded last year “amidst the pandemic and chaos of the 2020 US presidential election.”

The activists add:

[F]our passionate women from across the country came together virtually, to create a film festival dedicated to women’s reproductive healthcare. In just 8 weeks, the team gathered 25 mission-aligned films and more than 50 mission-aligned advocates to present a celebration of women’s reproductive rights through the medium of film.

“With the rising threat to women’s autonomy over their own bodies, we call on our audience to join us as we lift up the voices of those who are advocating for women’s reproductive justice, our fearless storytellers, and our courageous partners, alike,” the organizers continue.

The organization will present its 2021 “ChangemakeHER” award to Apollo Theater CEO Jonelle Procope.

Backers of the event include Bloomberg Philanthropies, Stober Lafer Foundation, Sheppard Foundation, the Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Fund, and Pam Schafler.

RePro states it is also working with the Black Women’s Health Imperative and the Lilith Fund.

Individual tickets will have screening windows and will be available for $10 each, the organization states. All-access passes, at $75 each, include on-demand access for all films playing at the festival.

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