Release of TRAPPED, the abortion rights doc, is timed to Supreme Court decision on TRAP laws

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trappedFilmmaker Dawn Porter’s Trapped, the abortion rights film that won Sundance Film Festival 2016’s U.S. Documentary Special Jury Award for Social Impact Filmmaking, is set to open theatrically on March 4, with subsequent broadcast dates in June on Independent Lens.

Release is Timed for Social Impact

The nationwide release of the film comes just as the U.S. Supreme Court takes on Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt, the landmark case that will determine the constitutionality of “TRAP” (Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers) laws.

Directed by Dawn Porter (Gideon’s Army), Trapped follows the struggles of the clinic workers and lawyers who are on the front lines of a battle to keep abortion safe and legal for millions of American women.

Collaborative Multi-Party Distribution Deal

The multi-party distribution plan positions the film to maximize its reach by scheduling educational and community screenings during the theatrical window and reducing the time between the theatrical and broadcast windows.

Abramorama will handle theatrical distribution for the film, which will open at the IFC Center in New York, the Landmark on Pico in Los Angeles and the E Street Cinema in DC. Additional markets will follow throughout the spring. Ro*Co Films, in conjunction with Film Sprout, will handle educational and community screenings while PBS’ Independent Lens will air the film in June timed to the announcement of the Supreme Court’s decision.

Director Dawn Porter said, “When I first heard what was happening in some of the Southern states and the challenges forced upon these clinicians, I knew I had to tell their stories. The need for safe spaces, both medically and emotionally, is paramount for women to have access to health care.”

“A true nationwide release of the film is our goal,” said Annie Roney, founder of Ro*Co Films. “As distributors we are usually windowed against each other. But Abramorama and Film Sprout were willing to try something new, so that all of America can access the film and see it together – whether that be in big city commercial theaters, on college campuses or in community centers and private homes. It’s not unlike our larger goal – to keep access to abortion available to every woman in every state.”

Marilyn Ness, producer, said, “Given the pending Supreme Court decision we realize this is an exceptionally rare opportunity for a documentary to be accessible at precisely the moment the issue addressed crystallizes in the collective social consciousness. Through our partners we are now able to make TRAPPED available to audiences however and wherever they gather to see it – in theaters, in community screenings, and at festivals nationwide. We are further thrilled that the film will be available in every home in the country when it broadcasts on Independent Lens in June.”

“Three companies, ostensibly with different agendas, are instead working in concert to make this film accessible to as many people as possible as quickly as possible,” said Richard Abramowitz of Abramorama. “Such is the power of cooperation when the stakes are this high. We hope our elected officials will see that such a thing is possible.”

Cinema Scrutiny of the Issues

Since 2010, hundreds of laws regulating abortion clinics have been passed by conservative state legislatures, particularly in the south. These restrictions, known as TRAP laws (or Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers) are spreading across America. Faced with increased costs of compliance and the alarming fear of violence from protestors, the stakes for the women and men on the frontlines couldn’t be any higher. As the battle heads to the U.S. Supreme Court, Trapped follows the struggles of the clinic workers and lawyers fighting to keep abortion safe and legal for millions of American women, many of them poor and uninsured. The film shines a light on the work of several women’s health providers including Dr. Willie Parker, Amy Hagstrom Miller (Whole Women’s Health), Marva Sadler (Whole Women’s Health), Nancy Northup (Center for Reproductive Rights), June Ayers (Reproductive Health Service), Dalton Johnson (Alabama Women’s Center), and Gloria Gray (West Alabama Women’s Center).

For more information about the film visit the film’s website or Facebook Page.

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