A group of determined Midwestern women begin providing safe but illegal abortions in this 1960s; a period drama based on a true story.
Interview with Writer/Director Rachel Carey
Congratulations! Why did you make your film?
Ask for Jane is inspired by the true story of a group of women in the late 1960s who ran an underground network in Chicago to help women get safe abortions. It is a fascinating piece of forgotten history about women supporting each other's choices when it was against the law to do so.
Imagine I’m a member of the audience. Why should I watch this film?
The film serves as a valuable reminder of what life looked like when abortion was illegal, and what could happen if it becomes illegal again. It is an active, rather than depressing, story about what women are capable of doing in order to help each other achieve reproductive freedom.
How do personal and universal themes work in your film?
I love stories that explore political and personal issues from an unexpected perspective. The true story of the Janes, which was originally shared with me by my colleague (and star of the film) Cait Cortelyou, is a fascinating example of what women can do when they are faced with these kinds of challenges. It's a hopefully compelling and interesting way to look at a complicated topic.
How have the script and film evolved over the course of their development?
As we were originally fundraising for the film, a real "Jane", Judith Arcana, got in touch with us and agreed to be involved in our film as consulting producer. Her input made the script significantly more accurate and certainly more compelling, too.
What type of feedback have you received so far?
Bringing the film to festivals has been a fascinating and moving experience because so many women have shared personal stories after screenings about their own experiences with abortion in that era.
Has the feedback surprised or challenged your point of view?
Hearing from real women who had abortions or struggled with sexism has made me more aware of how important this film can be in terms of raising issues and deepening discussions on this subject. Right now, the dialogue seems to be driven by the far-right. We need to pull the dialogue back into focusing on the complex decisions and lives of real women.
What are you looking to achieve by having your film more visible on www.wearemovingstories.com?
We are wrapping up our festival run now and have a theatrical release set for May 17th, and I hope people will come and see the film and form their own opinions.
Who do you need to come on board (producers, sales agents, buyers, distributors, film festival directors, journalists) to amplify this film’s message?
What type of impact and/or reception would you like this film to have?
I hope this film will raise discussions about abortion access. We have forgotten what things looked like when abortion was illegal, and I can't imagine why we would want to go back to what happened during that time period.
What’s a key question that will help spark a debate or begin a conversation about this film?
In the late 1960s, a group of women were able to find a way to do safe abortions on their own. Is that really something we want to return to? And if necessary, are women ready to return to it?
Would you like to add anything else?
Thanks so much for shining a spotlight on the film. It's been an honor to tell this fascinating story and I hope we can get more folks to come and see it.
What other projects are the key creatives developing or working on now?
I have a number of scripts that I'm developing, including co-writing a feature film about home brewing beer that we hope to shoot in the next year or two.
Interview: April 2019
We Are Moving Stories embraces new voices in drama, documentary, animation, TV, web series, music video, women's films, LGBTQIA+, POC, First Nations, scifi, supernatural, horror, world cinema. If you have just made a film - we'd love to hear from you. Or if you know a filmmaker - can you recommend us? More info: Carmela
Ask For Jane
A group of determined Midwestern women begin providing safe but illegal abortions in this 1960s period drama based on a true story.
Director: Rachel Carey
Producer: Cait Cortelyou, Josh Folan, Caroline Hirsch
Writer: Rachel Carey
About the writer, director and producer:
RACHEL CAREY is a writer, director and filmmaker based in the New York City area.
Key cast: Cait Cortelyou, Cody Horn, Sarah Steele, Sarah Ramos, Chloe Levine
Looking for: journalists
Facebook: Ask For Jane
Hashtags used: #askforjane
Funders: Carolines Entertainment, NYEH Entertainment, Raptor Films
Where can I watch it next and in the coming month? Opening in Theaters on May 17th. Find out more at Askforjane.com.