Gosnell Movie Makes History, Reaches $2.1M Crowdfunding Goal

The Gosnell Movie project made history today. The campaign to make the movie reached its $2.1 million goal on Friday, a record amount raised for a film on the crowdfunding website Indiegogo. 

"People have been sending small donations and inspiring messages. They felt compelled, often because of personal experience, to ensure the Gosnell Movie gets made," said producer Ann McElhinney.

Those small donations from more than 23,000 donors worldwide helped propel the project's success.

"I was thinking we were going to beat the (most money raised) target, but not win and become the most successful failure ever on crowdfunding," said journalist and filmmaker Phelim McAleer. 

Now that the financial goal has been met, producers have set a new goal. They'd like to gain 30,000 contributors to help send Hollywood a message that the story of former Philadelphia abortion Dr. Kermit Gosnell must be told. The crowdfunding campaign ends May 12 at midnight.

McAleer calls Gosnell America's biggest serial killer after reading about him and attending his murder trial. Gosnell ran an abortion clinic in West Philadelphia dubbed the "House of Horros" by local media. Producers say they'd like to shoot in Philadelphia because the city is a large character in the film but the film's shooting schedule has not yet been established. 

According to the Indiegogo website, the Gosnell Movie is listed as number one for the most funds raised for a film, besting actor James Franco's film. The Gosnell Movie has a clear lead in the #1 position with the second highest film raising $898,144. Indiegogo will retain 4 percent of the total amount raised and 3 to 5 percent will go to credit card processing fees.

McAleer turned to Indiegogo after he says rival crowfunding website Kickstarter tried to censor his film. To celebrate the Indiegogo crowdfunding milestone, the Gosnell Movie project put an advertisement on a billboard near Kickstarter's offices in New York City. 

McAleer used the popular Kickstarter site for his first film project "FrackNation," which was supported by 3,305 people who donated $212,000. Kickstarter, he says, tried to censor this project because they asked him to remove parts of the descption that stated "1000s of babies stabbed to death" and "1000s of babies murdered." Gosnell was convicted in July of murdering three babies that were born alive in his West Philadelphia abortion clinic.

"We just couldn’t start telling this story by buying into an act of censorship. We walked away," McAleer told NBC10. "(The subject matter) is going to offend. We are not going to be part of community that’s offended by the truth."

Pictured at right: Producers Ann McElhinney and Phelim McAleer

Now that the Indiegogo fundraising goal has been met, the film staff will hire a writer, director. The plan is to release the made for television drama sometime next year. McAleer descibes the movie as a docudrama that tells Gosnell's story and the media cover-up.

 Contact Sarah Glover at 610-668-5580, sarah.glover@nbcuni.com or follow @skyphoto on Twitter.

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