A liberating conversation about abortion and women's health.
Interview with Producer Joses Martin
Congratulations! Why did you make your film?
We made the film to find a real, unbiased answer to the question of what women should know about the long term effects of abortion. When different States, and different organizations have been telling women different things about the subject, it seemed like an investigation was necessary.
Imagine I’m a member of the audience. Why should I watch this film?
HUSH is extremely relevant to every woman's personal health. No matter what your personal life experience has been, there's something in the film that will be relevant to you. And even for men, though more so from the position of learning things that are helpful to be a good partner, father or son. It's controversial, it's an exciting, and it's a heartfelt journey through the Director's eyes.
How do personal and universal themes work in your film?
Beyond the specific investigation of HUSH, the film is really about how political ideologies and political correctness have a damaging affect on science, health care, and in the end, the rights of individuals.
How have the script and film evolved over the course of their development and production?
We did a lot of research on the subject ahead of time, but throughout the production and interviews, we were constantly learning and uncovering things together. Our main goals were:
1. Presenting only the things that we could be sure about and stand behind, and not saying things that we couldn't.
2. Making it easy enough for the audience to follow.
There were a lot of scientific trails that we thought that we would cover originally, but when we followed those paths, all it ended up being was bickering between two sides - both sides saying the other side was wrong and idiotic.
So to get beyond those politics, we had to find the things that neither side really wanted to look at! For example: the concept that late term abortions are clearly shown to be related to an increased breast cancer risk - both sides knew this, but nobody really wanted to admit it! Why?
Because both sides wanted to give a firm "Yes" or "No" answer. If you're saying "No, abortion is not related to breast cancer" then you can't admit that late term abortions are. And if you're saying the flat statement that "Yes abortions are related to increased breast cancer" then you can't admit that early term abortions (6 weeks or under) are not as much to worry about. That's the kind of politics we were dealing with.
What type of feedback have you received so far?
The reaction to the film has been consistently heartwarming. The film has often been met with applause, and what has been most inspiring is the conversation that follows. No matter what the political background of individuals that see the film, they feel open and comfortable to talk about the subject matter, and often women even share their own reproductive health experiences and how the information in the film affected them personally.
This is something that just doesn't happen - for "pro-life" and "pro-choice" people to have open conversations that are not aggressive and hate-filled, it's been amazing to watch, and we're very thankful to help start those conversations.
Has the feedback surprised or challenged your point of view?
The beauty of HUSH is that it's informative, but it allows you to maintain your personal views. Punam, the Director, remains "Pro-Choice", the Executive Producer Drew Martin remains "Pro-Life" and I remain somewhere in between, but all of us, and everyone that watches the film comes out with a more open mind than they had going in.
What are you looking to achieve by having your film more visible on www.wearemovingstories.com?
By having our film more visible on WeAreMovingStories, we're hoping to have individuals inspired to click through to www.hushfilm.com and watch the film. It's now available for everyone to see. We're releasing the film independently like this because in spite of our attention at film festivals, distributors are generally not willing to take on such risque subject matter, but we know that this information MUST get out, and individuals around the world are anxious to see it.
Who do you need to come on board (producers, sales agents, buyers, distributors, film festival directors, journalists) to amplify this film’s message?
For Journalists, and individuals to watch and start talking about!
What type of impact and/or reception would you like this film to have?
Our hope is that this film would pave the way for a new level of reproductive health education for women and men of all ages. But particularly starting at a young age. Even just understanding "my choices throughout my life affect my risk of diseases like cancer" is such an important concept that is too often not communicated to us.
Every woman and every person who watches the film is going to be affected a little differently with what applies to them, and I think that's the beauty of it. Whether women have had an abortion themselves, consider it as a backup option in case they need one in the future, or even if they never have and never will, there's so much relevant health info in the film, that everyone's going to take away something.
We know a lot about cancer and this point, but if we're not actually communicating what we already know about risk factors, and prevention, than what are we really helping? Where's all this fundraising going? That's the problem I have with this idea of "ending cancer" cancer isn't going to end, because there's never going to be a "cancer vaccine".
We can learn to fight cancer better once it comes up - less deaths, that's great! But that's the same amount of cancer cases. The only way cancer is going to be decreased is because we learn to make smarter decisions based on what we know about prevention.
What’s a key question that will help spark a debate or begin a conversation about this film?
Why is it that women are told very different information about the long term health effects of abortion depending where they are and who they talk to?
Would you like to add anything else?
Thank you so much for this interview, and thank you for having the guts to post about it! It's absolutely a heated topic. Right now is as fierce a time as any for abortion laws - with Texas clinic regulation cases reaching the Supreme Court, and undercover videos of Fetal Tissue Sale, StandWithPlannedParenthood and DefundPlannedParenthood hashtags, it's a real warzone and we're jumping right in the middle of it.
But we hope to bring something very new to the conversation - respect, love, and unity, for the care and honour of women. I think that that's something we can all get behind, in spite of our various thoughts on the morality of abortion.
What are the key creatives developing or working on now?
Punam Kumar Gill is currently focused on raising her son, while she continues her work as a freelance Director, Host, Actor and Model, in Calgary, Alberta.
Drew and Joses Martin of Mighty Motion Pictures are in various stages of development on many projects including upcoming documentaries on Afghanistan, Lost Pirate Treasure, and Men & Abortion.
We Are Moving Stories embraces new voices in drama, documentary, animation, TV, web series and music video. 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
Length: 101 minutes
Director: Punam Kumar Gill
Producers: Exec Producer Drew Martin
Producer/Editor: Joses Martin
Looking for: journalists
Funders: YesTV, Alberta Media Fund and Canadian Film and Video Tax Cedits along with independent investors.
Release date: July 1, 2016