Anti-abortion film 'Unplanned' screening in Kelowna despite Landmark cancellation - InfoNews

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Anti-abortion film 'Unplanned' screening in Kelowna despite Landmark cancellation

Scene from the film Unplanned, which is coming to Kelowna next week.
Image Credit: TWITTER/@LifeNewsHQ
July 09, 2019 - 3:27 PM

KELOWNA - Despite protests and an official cancellation by a theatre chain, the controversial film Unplanned is still coming to Kelowna next week.

The film, based on the memoirs of former Planned Parenthood clinic director and anti-abortion activist Abby Johnson, has provoked protests from pro-choice activists across the country. Its screenings in Canadian cities have sparked petitions, boycotts, and endless online arguments. When the film was announced for an Okanagan screening, the reaction was more of the same.

The film was set for a one-week run at the Landmark Cinemas Grand 10 location in Kelowna. However, the company recently pulled the movie from its scheduled lineup. Marlon Bartram, executive director for the Kelowna Right to Life, said his group was told the film's screening cancellation was a "business decision."

Representatives at Grand 10 declined to comment on the cancellation, sending iNFOnews to Landmark Cinemas' head office for a comment. They have yet to respond.

A petition on change.org is asking Cineplex and Landmark Cinemas to not screen the movie across the country, deriding it as "factually incorrect propaganda." The petition already has over 1,000 signatures at time of publication.

Amanda Poon, a member of the Pro-Choice Kelowna Facebook group, is no fan of Unplanned, calling it "science-fiction and fantasy," but she said a boycott wasn't necessary.

"A boycott does infringe on freedom of speech," she said.

Poon said people who dislike the film can vote with their wallets and not support theatres that screen it.

While Grand 10 might have dropped Unplanned from its lineup, the movie is still screening in Kelowna. The Right to Life Society is hosting private screenings of the film at the Grand 10 on July 15 and at the Landmark Xtreme Theatre in West Kelowna on July 17. Both shows start at 7 p.m. The West Kelowna show has already sold out.

"One woman called asking for 100 tickets," Bartram said.

It costs the Society $600 to privately screen the movie, but Bartram said they will likely host more showings if the demand is there.

Poon doesn't think the movie will change anyone's mind, as she believes it will simply preach to the choir. She said the Society should be allowed to privately screen the film and not given excuses to feel persecuted.

"I find that group has a martyr complex," she said.


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