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We’re really excited to announce that “I told my Mum I was going on an R.E. Trip…” has been selected for this year’s Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival in Toronto (April 25th - May 5th) - one of the largest and most prestigious documentary festivals in the world.

Following the hit success on stage at Contact in Manchester, the Contact and 20 Stories High co-production “I told my Mum I was going on an R.E. trip…” was recreated for TV, and broadcast on BBC Two in January 2018 as part of the Performance Live strand of programmes.

The show deals with challenging themes and commemorating the 50th anniversary of the legalisation of abortion in Britain, writer Julia Samuels explores the way in which society treats this subject and how this impacts on women today. And importantly asks what would happen if we started to talk openly about it?

As part of this year’s Hot Docs special themed programme, Persister, the film will have its International Premiere and is eligible for two awards: the Award for Best Mid-Length Documentary, as well as the Audience Award. Persister features entirely female-directed stories about women speaking up and being heard.

“I told my Mum I was going on an R.E. trip…” is a frank drama told through the voices of four young performers, based on interview material gathered from over 50 different people; including young women who have had abortions, young parents, health professionals and campaigners. These stories are interwoven with song and spoken word to portray the real experiences of these women.

Using the theatre technique of recorded delivery, where the actors listen to the real recorded interviews through earphones and repeat the words as they hear them, bringing the audience as close to the truth behind the words as possible.  Featuring interviewees from Great Britain and Northern Ireland and beyond, we meet health professionals, women, men and young people on all sides of the debate.

Julia Samuels, writer, said about the production:

 The experience of having an abortion is such a taboo in society, and many women feel that they have to keep it a secret. We are pleased to be able to share these stories far and wide, and help combat the stigma around something that happens to 1 in 3 British women in their lifetimes.

Far and wide, indeed! We are very privileged to be able to share this powerful work to audiences across the pond.

Find out more about Hot Docs Festival here.

Image credit: Gary Moyes