Pro-life movie ‘Unplanned’ to hit Canadian theatre screens this summer

After a heated battle that included petitions and a national boycott, the controversial pro-life film Unplanned has finally landed a distribution deal in Canada.

The film  ̶  based on the memoir of Abby Johnson, a former Planned Parenthood director turned pro-life advocate  ̶  will be distributed across Canada by the independent distributor Cinedicom.

“The response is excellent so far; there is a good demand for the movie,” said Cinedicom president BJ McKelvie, noting his company is pitching the film to theatres across Canada.

Abby Johnson

Showings begin July 12. So far, the only confirmed Alberta showing is at the Movie Mill in Lethbridge. Theatres in New Brunswick and Newfoundland and Labrador also plan to show the film. More showings are expected to be announced in the coming days.

The filmmakers expect to see Unplanned shown in 100 to 200 theatres. Information on the showings will soon be available online at unplannedtickets.com. Until now, Canada’s first public screening of Unplanned was at the Edmonton Expo Centre on May 14, hosted by Harvest Ministries International.

The independent distribution deal comes after efforts to have Cineplex Entertainment, which owns 80 per cent of the movie theatres in Canada, screen the film in its theatres. It also led to a “Canada Wants Unplanned” national boycott of Cineplex theatres.

Cineplex Entertainment stated it could not screen the film in its theatres because it lacked a distributor, but Unplanned producers believe it’s because of the film’s pro-life message.

The first public screening of Unplanned was held at the Edmonton Expo Centre.Kyle Greenham, Grandin Media file photo

Now that Unplanned is finally getting a major Canadian release, directors Cary Solomon and Chuck Konzelman are confident it will bring the abortion debate to the country’s political forefront.

“This is the most important movie anyone will ever see on the most controversial issue of our time,” Solomon and Konzelman said. “When Unplanned comes to Canadian theaters, this movie will make abortion unpopular.

Ruth Shaw

“This is the movie that no one wants you to see and it took a petition, a boycott and a brave independent distributor who would boldly bring this movie to the people of Canada.”

Pro-life advocate Ruth Shaw believes Unplanned will have an especially powerful effect on young people, who are often shown only the pro-choice side of the abortion issue.

“This is a wake-up call movie,” said Shaw, the executive director with the National Campus Life Network, a pro-life group that works with university students. “I have never seen a movie so boldly depict the reality of abortion. This movie can reshape the narrative for young people everywhere.”

A new trailer of Unplanned has now been posted with the Canadian release date.