Saturday, November 25th, 2017
Amphitheatre, Saint Paul University at 223 Main Street in OttawaNOTE: New location – Ottawa Birth & Wellness Centre (2260 Walkley Road)
Vessel begins with a young doctor who lived by the sea, and an unlikely idea. Rebecca Gomperts, horrified by the realities created by anti-abortion law around the world, felt compelled to challenge this. Her method: to provide abortions on a ship in offshore waters.
Her project, Women on Waves, begins as flawed spectacle, a media frenzy, faced with governmental, religious, and military blockades. But with each setback comes a more refined mission, until Rebecca has the revelation that she can use new technologies to bypass law – and train women to give themselves safe abortions using WHO-sanctioned protocols with pills.
We witness the creation of an underground network of emboldened, informed activists, working at the cutting edge of global reproductive rights, who trust women to handle abortion themselves. Vessel is Rebecca’s story: one of a woman who heard and answered a calling, and transformed a wildly improbable idea into a global movement.
Vessel premiered at South by Southwest Film Festival in 2014, winning the Audience Award for Documentary in Competition and a Special Jury Award for Political Courage. The film was released theatrically in New York, and went on to screen at over 230 festivals and community screenings worldwide. Additional awards include the inaugural Peter Wintonick Award from Sheffield DocFest, the Adrienne Shelly Excellence in Filmmaking Award, the Moving Mountains Honorable Mention from Mountainfilm in Telluride, the Calgary Underground Audience Choice Honorable Mention, and the SIMA Lens to Action Jury Award. Vessel is available on Netflix streaming in 30 countries, and across international video-on-demand platforms.
For more information, see VESSEL site.
Pre-show Presentation by Planned Parenthood Ottawa: safe access to medical abortion and taking abortions out of clinics and hospitals.
Marnie Mitchel, Co-President of Planned Parenthood Ottawa: Marnie is a pharmacist and public health professional whose career has focused on underserved and vulnerable communities. She has practiced in rural and remote communities including Nunavut, the Northwest Territories and on First Nations reserves. She also has experience in the global south, working to establish HIV treatment and prevention programs in Zimbabwe and Lesotho. Since 2007, she has worked for the First Nations and Inuit Health Branch of Health Canada. In addition to her role with Planned Parenthood Ottawa, she also serves on the Carlington Community Health Centre Board of Directors. https://ppottawa.ca/about-us/team/board-of-directors/
Ceara McIntyre was born and raised in Ottawa, and has been involved with Planned Parenthood Ottawa for over a year now in various capacities. She is currently completing her Bachelor of Social Work at Carleton University and identifies with an anti-oppressive, intersectional framework. In the past, Ceara has worked as a tutor with Carleton University’s Paul Menton Centre for Students with Disabilities, and with the Ottawa Carleton-District School Board as a tutor. Currently, Ceara is striving to make every workshop she delivers learner-centred, and is finding ways to adapt Planned Parenthood Ottawa’s workshops to meet the sexual and reproductive health needs of a variety of populations including: people with disabilities, Indigenous folks, and low-income youth. In her spare time Ceara likes to turn down her teacher voice and introvert, preferably while petting a cat or drawing in her bullet journal.
Jamie Brignell has been helping to organize the CHOICE festival since 2012. She is a mother to three smart and spicy children, a Doula, an active member of the Breech Birth Coalition and Mothers of Change. and has been advocating for choice for women during pregnancy, birth and postpartum passionately since her first child was born in 2009. Jamie suggested screening Vessel after having a medical abortion in Ottawa in 2016. It became evident at once that the access to medical abortion is difficult, often unattainable and the compassion of the care providers performing medical abortions in the city leaves something to be desired. She is encouraged by the newly approved access to Mife in Ontario and the interest by family doctors and midwives to open access to medical abortion to Ontario women.
Carolyn Moffatt is a registered midwife, public health health policy wonk, and feminist activist working in Ottawa. She joined the profession of midwifery as a second career because of her desire to provide empowering healthcare in a transitional time in peoples’ lives. Carolyn’s career and activism has involved supporting access to abortion since the mid 1990s, as she believes in a person’s ability to make their own decisions about their body and their needs. Personal passions include supporting queer and trans* people to have healthcare that is respectful and attentive to their needs, and providing a whole-person approach to pregnancy care that includes harm-reduction and trauma-informed approaches. She is also passionate about providing dignified and supportive reproductive care to people who have experiences infertility and loss, and people affected by racism, colonialism, poverty, mental illness or addiction. She is interested in extending the scope of midwifery to include full spectrum reproductive care and care beyond the childbearing year.
Carolyn lives and works in Ottawa, and devotes as much time as possible to her young kids and her chosen family.
Tickets will be available at the door for $15, until we are sold out. Cash only.
Paper tickets will not be issued. You will receive a confirmation e-mail. Your tickets will be noted by your e-mail address. You do not need to print anything.
Location of Screening
This screening will take place at the Ottawa Birth & Wellness Centre (2260 Walkley Road)
This festival is completely volunteer run. All proceeds will go to support local birth and breastfeeding groups.