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The 8th selected for World Premiere at Hot Docs 2020
22 Apr 2020 : News Desk
Hot Docs Film Festival
The Feature documentary following the campaign to repeal the 8th amendment has been included in the line-up of North America’s largest documentary festival.

The 8th, an Irish film co-directed by Aideen Kane, Lucy Kennedy, and Maeve O’Boyle, has been selected to have its World Premiere at Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival within the Persister programme: Films by women, about women speaking up and being heard.

The film traces the struggle in Ireland to overturn one of the most restrictive abortion bans in the world and shows a country’s transformation from a conservative state in thrall to the Catholic church to a more liberal secular society. It follows the dynamic female leaders of the pro-choice campaign as they chart a bold strategy of grassroots activism and engineer the impossible.

The 8th features veteran campaigner Ailbhe Smyth as she navigates the complexities of convincing a historically conservative electorate to vote for women’s reproductive autonomy. The film also follows nail-bar owner and self-described glitter-activist Andrea Horan who takes a less orthodox approach to feminist organizing.

The filmmakers actively sought out both sides of the debate as the 8th also features interviews with the pro-life campaign. This dramatic story is underscored by a vivid exploration of the wrenching failures that led to this defining moment in Irish history.

An urgent narrative, a cautionary tale and a roadmap for progressive reforms in a modern era where authoritarianism is on the rise, The 8th shows a country forging a new progressive path at a time when reproductive rights are threatened all over the world.

Hot Docs, North America’s largest documentary festival, offers a selection of over 200 films from Canada and around the world.  Whilst the physical festival has been postponed, Hot Docs is exploring the best way to bring this year's films to audiences around the world and will be announcing plans for the postponed Festival once they are determined.

Speaking about the selection, co director Maeve O’Boyle said: 

“We are so proud that The 8th was selected to be part of this prestigious documentary festival. It is the first step in an international release campaign that will put this powerful story at the center of progressive reproductive debate.”

The 8th was co-produced by Alan Maher’s Cowtown Pictures and made with the support of Fís Éireann/Screen Ireland, A grant from Open Society Foundations, Incentives for the Irish Film Industry provided by the Government of Ireland, Abigail Disney & Fork Films, Sabrina Merage Foundation, Ford Foundation / JustFilms and Archer Gray. 

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