In this video, our director breaksdown what the kickstarter money is needed for.
Monday – Oct 31, 2016
The annual American Academy of Pediatrics conference last week at San Francisco’s Moscone Center was their most controversial yet, with organizers repeatedly trying to silence human rights activists protesting male infant circumcision outside the event.
The activists – who call themselves intactivists (Intact + activist) believe that “bodily integrity and autonomy are basic human rights” and that “all children have the right to keep the genitals they were born with.”
Despite the massive story here, the press has been silent, missing one of the most high-conflict stories of the year.
On Friday morning, the American Academy Pediatrics abruptly ended a social media outreach event on children & media, when the first caller was an intactivist who asked about circumcision. The conference hashtag, #AAP16, was inundated with anti-circumcision messaging.
The next day, intactivist protesters report that an organizer allegedly screamed at them that they did not have a right to publicly protest and “have to be in the free speech zone.” Intactivists later spoke with local police, who confirmed that they had a first amendment right to engage in peaceful protest.
“I was very concerned for the safety of intactivists, because they [the AAP organizers] were so disturbed,” said Lloyd Schofield, the former proponent of the SFMGM bill, a citizens initiative would have banned circumcision of minors in San Francisco. Lloyd was at the protest to read the words of his friend Jonathon Conte, an intactivist protestor who committed suicide this past year due to grief over his circumcision.
Lloyd Schofield tells Jonathon Conte’s story at 9 min into press conference video.
The day after the AAP shut down their call-in, there were counter protestors with professionally made signs arguing for a parents right to circumcise their children (“My Child My Choice”).
James Loewen, a photographer and documentarian who has been filming the intactivist movement for years, says that when he approached them for an interview, each protestor revealed an 8 1/2 x 11 card with his personal home address and phone number – publicly doxing him. The counter-protestors did not return the next after intactivists discovered the identity of one of their organizers.
But that wasn’t even biggest confrontation of the conference. When James was filming passing physicians, he caught sight of Douglas Diekema, bioethicist on most recent AAP circumcision task force. James alleges that Diekema grabbed his camera rig and yanked it down, which would have smashed the camera had it not been attached to a harness on James body.
Later in the day, James & Brother K, leader of the intactivist protest group Blood Stained Men, saw Diekema outside the conference. On video, Brother K calls Diekema a coward and says he had “no ethics.” Before entering the building Diekema turned back and said “I have more ethics then you do.”
A woman accompanying Diekema adds “private property, I’m calling the police” despite the fact in video of the incident both James and Brother K are on a public street outside the conference building and do not attempt to enter.
Why does circumcision cause this much controversy?
And why has this story been ignored by the mainstream press?
For 30 years, the intactivist movement has been trying start a conversation about circumcision, and the AAP is has done everything they can to prevent that discussion. Marilyn Milos, the founder of NOCIRC, used to have a booth inside the conference. Now, the AAP yells at protestors across the street.
The last time members of the AAP circumcision task force and Intactivists publicly debated was a 2013 medical conference in North Carolina where Steven Svoboda of Attorney’s for the Rights of the Child was invited to speak alongside Dr. Michael Brady and Douglas Diekema of the AAP circumcision task force. After one debate, members of the AAP turned off the camera recording the conference. (Audio was recorded however, that we are currently in the process of obtaining.)
With more people joining the Intactivist movement every day, and next years conference likely to be even more controversial, this issue needs to be addressed.
This story has every hot-button issue – sex, politics, religion, children, medicine – yet the media is silent on it. I’ve seen the traffic circumcision stories drive. If newspapers are dying, and new media wants clicks, why are they afraid to cover this issue?
As a filmmaker I don’t shy away from controversy or a good story and the intactivist movement has it all. Right now, I’m now in the final editing stages of the feature-length documentary on American Circumcision. The film will go beyond the mainstream media coverage of the procedure to tell the story of the intactivist movement, and deal with the questions they raise. Do parents decide, or do human beings have the right to make their own choices about their bodies?
We’ve been really fortunate to gain access to AAP policymakers, interviewing members of both the past circumcision taskforce and the current one that drafted the recent controversial circumcision policy statement. This debate is framed against a backdrop of leading voices in the growing Intactivist movement—it’s really their story, and it’s a powerful story you won’t hear anywhere else.
Support the film American Circumcision on Kickstarter here.
We’re three days in the the American Circumcision Kickstarter campaign… and a lot has happened.
We raised $15,000 – 30% of our goal – in the first 50 hours.
THANK YOU to all who contributed.
We also got some good press:
You read that third one right. We got our first political endorsement.
Speaking of politics, radio host Stefan Molyneux shared one of our memes, which put the film in front of a new audience that might be unfamiliar with this issue.
We’ve also been sharing tons of memes on social media.
#Humanrights #activist & #fgm survivor Soraya Mire on why she speaks out on both male & female genital cutting. #i2 #mgm #quote #quotes #quoteoftheday #quotesdaily #quotestoliveby #meme #memes #memesdaily #feminism #womensrights #mra #Intactivist #Intact #mensrights #humanrights #genderequality #circumcision #mgm #intersex #documentary #film #movie #kickstarter #babies #baby #peacefulprotest activism
A post shared by American Circumcision Film (@circmovie) on
Our film will tell the story of #intactivist Jonathon Conte. #i2 #circumcision #quote #quotes #quoteoftheday #quotesdaily #quotestoliveby #meme #memes #memesdaily #Intact #mensrights #humanrights #genderequality #circumcision #mgm #fgm #intersex #documentary #film #movie #kickstarter #babies #baby #parenting #peacefulparenting #peacefulprotest #protest #activism #activist
A post shared by American Circumcision Film (@circmovie) on
"Men ask, ' why was this forced on me? It’s my body, it should be my choice.’” – Ron Goldman #circumcision #AAP16 #i2 #mybodymychoice #intactivist #intactivism #children #humanrights #genitalcutting #genderequality #quote #quotes #quoteoftheday #quotesdaily #quotestoliveby #meme #memes #memesdaily
A post shared by American Circumcision Film (@circmovie) on
You can see our memes and more film news here:
If you want to join the 150 other people who’ve already supported our Kickstarter, you can do so here.
Our contributors have been very generous. The average donation is 100$. That’s very rare for Kickstarters. Our core supporters are the best, and many are contributing.
The 100$ reward (the “Uncut edition”) may be our best-value reward. It’s certainly our most popular. 100$ gets you the film and all our hours and hours of bonus footage. A season of Game of Thrones worth of content. Of course, if you just want the film, that’s only 20$. We deliberately kept that low because we want everyone to see this film. And of course, if you have more to give, you could even get your name in the credits, a screening or become a production. It’s up to you how much you’ll contribute.
Contribute American Circumcision on Kickstarter here.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
First-Ever Full Length Documentary on American Circumcision Now Being Kickstarted
Austin, Texas — October 24, 2016
American circumcision. It’s one of the most controversial and widely discussed topics around. It’s also the name of a new film that’s being Kickstarted beginning today.
While many are already aware of the pros and cons of removing the male foreskin during infancy, “American Circumcision” will take viewers inside the burgeoning grassroots movement to challenge the practice.
The circumcision rate for American male newborns has declined in recent years and the intactivist (intact + activist) movement is playing a large role.
“I think viewers will be surprised by the caliber of people who are active in the movement,” says filmmaker Brendon Marotta. “There are some very serious, very thoughtful individuals who are looking at this issue from medical, legal, ethical and religious viewpoints.” Marotta, who works as a freelance film editor, is a graduate of the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, having earned his earning his B.F.A. in film editing and sound. “American Circumcison” will be his directorial debut.
Since the release of its latest policy statement on circumcision, the American Academy of Pediatrics has drawn considerable ire from intactivsts who maintain the group is more interested in the wallets of its members than in the best interests of boys and men. The film will go deep into the controversial AAP policy that is often cited by those who defend the merits of the procedure.
“I’ve been very fortunate to interview one of the architects of the current AAP policy statement, and also a member of the last taskforce on male infant circumcision. What these individuals have to say is both surprising and powerful,” Marotta says.
“American Circumcision” is already in post-production, meaning that all of the footage has been shot. The last hurdle will be editing the film together. Marotta is currently Kickstarting this last step.
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We’ve gotten this question a couple times, so it’s worth addressing.
First of all…
There have been others who’ve talked about making a film on this subject, but none have delivered. The closest was made nearly 10 years ago (by a friend of the director of American Circumcision, who we’re happy to promote). But none of the others are even shot in HD.
Second, those previous films explore the circumcision debate where it was several years ago.
American Circumcision is about where the debate is now. We explore the modern Intactivist movement, interview current members of the AAP, and show new footage of the procedure.
Other films have covered aspects of circumcision – Judaism, the history, parents decisions – but none have really explored the full issue in modern times.
American Circumcision explores the full issue from both sides.
This is the first film to have both major Intactivist and pro-circumcision voices debating and confronting each other in the same media.
There are historical events in the circumcision debate that can only be seen in this film.
Here are a few sequences you’ll see in American Circumcision:
Plus a many other surprises you’ll have to see the film to discover. (Seriously – I could fill a page up with the list.)
Some of these stories are known to those involved in this debate. But the world does not know. We’re going to bring those stories to mass audience with a higher production value and storytelling ability then any previous film.
We’re also going to release many extended and full interviews in our special features.
If you are an activist, educator, birth or medical professional, or even just a potential parent, this film is going to be invaluable.
We’re in post-production. We will ship.
Our Kickstarter launches Oct 24. Subscribe to our email list here to keep up with the film.