Phelim McAleer is a man with a mission. He also is a man of many hats: a veteran investigative journalist, a film producer, New York Times bestselling author and crowdfunder.
But his most important goal is to tell the truth, regardless of the obstacles that may come his way.
In an interview with LifeNews, McAleer went into depth about his experience producing his feature film, “Gosnell,” which is scheduled for release in October. “Gosnell” unmasks the shocking true story of the investigation and trial of Dr. Kermit Gosnell, a man who performed countless illegal, late-term abortions and murdered several born children as well.
McAleer was drawn to the story as it unfolded in Pennsylvania in 2013.
“I happened to be in Philadelphia, for my previous documentary, and I had a day off and I saw in the local news something about this really interesting trial, and I walked into the trial as a journalist,” he said. He observed the case proceedings, witnessing “very shocking” images and witness testimonies.
Despite the grisly, horrific nature of the case, what astounded McAleer the most was the lack of a media presence covering Gosnell’s trial. “This is one of the biggest stories I’ve ever seen, I’ve ever heard about, and there was no coverage at all,” he said.
After the events of Gosnell’s case concluded, McAleer and his wife, fellow journalist and documentarian Ann McElhinney, decided to take matters into their own hands.
“I just assumed then once he [Gosnell] was convicted, that there was going to be a mega movie, because why wouldn’t you make a movie out of this?” McAleer said. “So I waited and waited and I realized, wow, no one’s making a movie out of this? That’s because they don’t want—Hollywood doesn’t want to touch this story or cover this story. So, if they’re not going to do it, then I should do it. We’ve done this before; we’ve been telling stories all of our lives. We’ll just make a movie, and we did.”
Once the idea was set, the next major task was to allocate money to make the film. McAleer decided to crowdfund, a strategy he has used for previous films. He and his wife initially went to Kickstarter to fundraise, but they faced censorship on that site.
“Kickstarter said ‘yeah, you can [fundraise] here, but you have to change the description of your project,” McAleer said.
McAleer was asked to remove terms like “murder,” “murdering babies,” and “stabbing babies” from the description of their project, because the words were deemed offensive to Kickstarter’s community values. Gosnell was, in fact, convicted of murdering three newborn babies, and witnesses who testified at the trial said he killed them by stabbing the backs of the babies’ necks with scissors.
“I don’t want to be part of a community that has standards that force you to lie,” McAleer said.
McAleer and McElhinney then pulled out of Kickstarter and proceeded to fundraise via Indiegogo, a similar fundraising website. Their campaign went well, to say the least. Nearly 30,000 people raised $2.3 million in 45 days for “Gosnell,” which broke the website’s fundraising record. Even though McAleer and his wife made Indiegogo history, there was little fanfare.
SUPPORT LIFENEWS! If you like this pro-life article, please help LifeNews.com with a donation!
“No mainstream media has ever written a story on us. When they write nice puffy stories about crowdfunding, they seem to forget to include us. And you know, it’s a movie that exposes them, shows them off for the agenda-driven PACs that they are. Our movie is saying the things that they don’t want to talk about—the negative side of abortion and how the media covers things up,” he said.
“Gosnell” features some A-list names, including director Nick Searcy (“The Shape of Water”) and Dean Cain (“Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman”). However, some actors were reluctant to accept roles, and after being cast, some stepped down.
“So Hollywood didn’t want to touch this film…You know Hollywood, they give themselves awards for bravery, but they’re not that brave,” McAleer said.
Despite this setback, many people joined the project because the story behind “Gosnell” hit home.
“All throughout filming, we had people coming up and saying, ‘The reason that I am here is because this is my story.’ They would go ahead and tell us their stories,” McAleer said. “I remember one guy, someone on the grand jury, he lost twin grandchildren, to abortion.”
McAleer and his wife’s ultimate goal was not to make a political statement. Rather, “Gosnell” simply tells the true story of a murderer’s trial that was covered up by mass media. The film tells the story of a man who performed the most abhorrent of crimes, and what followed when he was taken to court.
“We made this to tell the truth. What people do with this truth is up to them,” McAleer said. “As filmmakers, when you start thinking that you’re making a political piece, you will make a political piece and no one will go and see it. We want to make a film that people want to go and see. And in there’s the truth, and it’s up to people to take that and run with it.”
The movie is scheduled for release Friday, Oct. 12. For more details, visit gosnellmovie.com.