Press Kit

The Secret Society

Rebecca Campbell

2021 | 89min 16 sec

Feature Documentary

English

Header(dark).png
SecretSocietyPoster-NoLogline.jpg

The Secret Society, the feature documentary about the secret, complex and criminalized world of egg donation in Canada

Selections and Awards

WFF21_Official-Selection-BLACK.png

AMPIA Craft Nominations

Rebecca.png
Frederick.png
Brenda.png
John.png

Featured

Synopsis (Short)

The Secret Society shines light on a hidden and unacknowledged women's health crisis. Complicating the already stressful and stigmatized world of infertility, women who are unable to conceive because their eggs are no longer viable are forced to take their medical needs into their own hands only to discover that Canadian law criminalizes payment to anyone who wants to use an egg donor. These laws perpetuate the secrecy surrounding egg donation and create a bizarrely complex world of assisted reproduction in this country.

Synopsis (Long)

The Secret Society shines light on a hidden and unacknowledged women's health crisis. Complicating the already stressful and stigmatized world of infertility, women who are unable to conceive because their eggs are no longer viable are forced to take their medical needs into their own hands only to discover that Canadian law criminalizes payment to anyone who wants to use an egg donor. These laws perpetuate the secrecy surrounding egg donation and create a bizarrely complex world of assisted reproduction in this country.

We meet Katie, an egg donor who, after donating six times, opens Canada’s first agency that requires future babies to know who their donors are and introduces us to the commercialized world of ‘fertility fairs’; Shannon and Sean who experimented with the idea of pursuing a donor illegally for money, but found a legal loophole in Canadian law that comes with a hefty price tag; Brittany and Tanner who avoid Canadian laws and expensive treatments by going to another country to pay for an egg donor, but the donor must remain anonymous by law;  and finally Holly and Paul who find a donor in Canada through a secret Facebook group.

Experts give context to the complex medical, legal and ethical fields of egg donation, while politicians discuss efforts to change the criminalization of paying egg donors through reform to the Assisted Reproduction laws.

Excerpts

Egg donation

Images

Egg donation

Promotional Materials

Team

BeccaFromTheBlock.png

Rebecca Campbell

Rebecca Campbell is an alumna of ‘Top 25’ – Banff World Media Festival/CMF’s ‘Diversity of Voices,’ NSI, Shaw Rocket Fund Fellowship, Whistler Film Festival Digital Lab, and is currently a Banff Spark participant. She wrote and directed The Secret Society, her first feature documentary about the hidden world of egg donation. Her directing highlights include broadcast documentaries Postcards from Vancouver Island, involving blindness and travel; and A Taste of the Prairies, involving blindness and cooking. She directed short the doc OVA, which won an ‘Edmonton Film Prize,’ and Kanada Girl. Campbell has created content for children: Squeaks & Cheeks, for which she won an AMPIA ‘Rosie’ Award; and The Girl Who Talks to the Moon for CBC Kids. She produced Last of the Fur Traders for AMI-tv/TELUS which won an AMPIA ‘Rosie’ Award, and numerous short documentaries found on AMI-tv, CBC Digital, CBC Gem, and TELUS TV. She currently sits on the board for FAVA.

Bonnie.png

Bonnie Thompson

Bonnie Thompson is a Canadian veteran film producer. For three decades, she worked with the National Film Board, collaborating with film/media makers and producers on documentary, animation, and interactive projects. She now produces independently with her company, Dreaming Bird Productions. Her work,  screened nationally and internationally at festivals and on big and small screens, has been awarded multiple prestigious awards, including: the feature doc Radiant City winner of 2006 Genie Award for Best Documentary; the animated short Wildlife nominated for a 2012 Academy Award; the feature doc Angry Inuk won the 2016 Hot Docs Audience Award, Best Documentary Award at ImagiNative, TIFF People's Choice Award; the PBS NOVA doc Transplanting Hope was nominated for an Emmy; the feature docs Two Worlds Colliding, winner of the 2003 Gemini Award for Best Documentary and nîpawistamâsowin: We Will Stand Up, Opening Night film at Hot Docs 2019, and winner of Hot Docs Best Canadian Documentary, 2020 CSA Best Feature Length Documentary. Thompson's work always has a strong social issue component and pushes boundaries in both form and content. She was recognized by the AMPIA in 2018 with a Lifetime Achievement Award.

FreddiePrince.png

Frederick Kroetsch

Frederick is an ardent documentary director, producer, and cinematographer.  He is director of photography on the recent feature documentary The Secret Society, about the hidden world of human egg donation. He made Last of the Fur Traders, a documentary for AMI-tv following the adventures of his 85-year-old father in the arctic. He created the TV-series Queen of the Oil Patch for APTN, winning him an Alberta Rosie Award for screenwriting, and he is currently directing the TV show Dr. Savanna Wild Rose Vet for APTN/Cottage Life. Frederick graduated with a film production degree from Concordia University; was awarded a Top 40 Under 40 Award in his home city of Edmonton; and won a Hot Docs Short Film Pitch. He is an alumnus of The Werner Herzog Rogue Film School, The NSI Business for Producers Program, Whistler Doc Lab, and the TELUS Fellowship Program.  Frederick has directed and produced dozens of projects for TELUS Originals, CBC, Bravo, NFB, CTV, APTN and Shaw – many of which he filmed himself.  He spent a month in Iqaluit as director of photography on Anaana’s Tent, a ground-breaking kids series airing on Canada’s first Inuit language

television station. 

Frederick is currently in development with NBC Universal on a television series.

Credits

Written and Directed by

Rebecca Campbell

 

Produced by

Frederick Kroetsch

Bonnie Thompson

Produced with participation of the

Produced with support of

Executive in charge of production

Blair Miller

Kim Hsu Guise

Executive Producer

Lizzy Karp

Supervising Producer

Christina Willings

Produced with the Assistance of the

Editor

Brenda Terning

Director of Photography

Frederick Kroetsch​

Story Consultant

Bonnie Thompson​

Sound Design

Johnny Blerot

Original Music composed by

John McMillan​

Location Sound

Phil Dransfeld

Nelson Klymochko

Frederick Kroetsch

Frederic Edwards

Amanda Wong

Gilles Mailllet

telus fund egg donor
Telus-Logo black.png
AB-HSBlack.png

Additional Camera

aAron Munson

Shaun Henning

Sergio Oliveres

Barry Cheong

Christina Ienna

Ian Lister

David Baron

Lisa Frykland

Neal Williams

Alex Spence

Additional Editing

Sarah Taylor

Art Design

Cristoval Castillon

Production Supervisor

Sandra Tober

Production Managers

Bonnie Thompson

Rebecca Campbell

Production Assistant

Kristen Lambie

Online Editing

Jason Ludwig

Legal

Gregory Pang

Bookkeeping

Anita van Dorp​

Accountant

Rick Minhas

Insurance

Front Row Insurance

Publicity

Cynthia Amsden

Strategic Marketing

Annelise Larson

Additional Graphic Design

Molly McKeen

Transcriptions

Sharon Murphy

Thank you for sharing your stories:

Katelyn

Victoria and Spencer

Shannon and Shawn

Brittany and Tanner

Holly and Paul

Lisa

Donna and Rodger 

Ellen

Thank you for your support:

Dr. Stephen Hudson

Dr. Tarek Motan

Shawn Winsor

Sara Cohen

Jan Silverman

Jodie Peacock

Senator Lucie Moncion 

Thanks to:

Elizabeth Friesen at the Telus Fund

Senator Julie Millville-Dechene

Silvie Biard

Marie-Pier Albert

Dr. Hudson and staff at Victoria Fertility Clinic

Dr. Dimitrios Dovas, Chrysa Karakosta and staff at New Life IVF Greece

Dr. Konstantinos Pantos and staff at Genesis Athens Clinic

Dr. Smithson, Carole Lawrence, Arianna McKenna and staff

at PCRM Fertility Clinic

Dr. Marjorie Dixon and staff at Anova Fertility Clinic

Dr. Librach, Deborah Davies and staff at CReATe Fertility Clinic  

Fertility Matters Canada 

Participants at the Canadian Fertility Show 

Camille Guaty

Carolynn Dube

Michelle Kinney

Diane Tober

Cindy Wasser

Heidi Hayes, Donor Egg Bank USA

Dr. Joseph Doyle, Shady Grove Fertility

Dr. Gwen Goodrow, The Reproductive Care Centre

Dr. Samuel Soliman, Newlife Fertility Centre

Whistler Film Festival Doc Lab

EAC.jpg

Publicist

Roundstone.png

Cynthia Amsden

President

Public Relations & Branding Strategist

 

PH04-70 Alexander Street

Toronto ON Canada M4Y 3B6

Cynthia@roundstonepr.com

416.910.7740

IMDB

TELUS is proud and happy to support this important film about women's reproductive health and sovereignty. Health is one of TELUS' primary social purpose pillars, so we are incredibly excited to partner with Catapult Pictures and Dreaming Bird Productions to help make this contribution to a very important conversation. 

Christina Willings, Snr Production Executive, TELUS originals.

CONNECT WITH US

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Instagram

The Secret Society 
from Award-Winning Director Rebecca Campbell, 
to have World Premiere at 2021 Whistler Film Festival