Distribution companies are effectively banning the film Unplanned from screening in Canadian cinemas, according to the producers of the pro-life biopic.
Speaking at an Ottawa news conference on May 8, producer Lisa Wheeler said, “We have been effectively blocked from distributing the film in Canada.”
Chuck Konzelman, the film’s writer, director, and producer, told LifeSiteNews via email that at least one of the two largest Canadian film distributors said “content” rather than a lack of consumer demand is the reason for banning the film.
According to Konzelman, Canadian law requires that films have distributors so that they can be shown theatrically. In addition, no rating from one of the provincial film boards can be granted, because the producers must list a distributor on the application forms to the film boards.
Based on the memoir of Abby Johnson, a former Planned Parenthood leader who eventually left the movement, Unplanned experienced success in the United States, taking in more than $18 million at the box office since its release in March, having been budgeted for $6 million.
Regarding the ban on the film, Johnson told a news conference earlier this month, “I would like to say I’m surprised, but I’m not.” Speaking on the day before Canada’s March for Life, Johnson told the media, “I have to wonder what they’re afraid of.”
Two of the largest distributors in Canada, Landmark and Cineplex, have no plans to show Unplanned. In an email response to LifeSiteNews, Konzelman confirmed that there are still no distributors for the film in Canada.