FX has set a March 29 premiere date for Spermworld, a documentary feature on the unregulated online marketplace for sperm, produced by The New York Times and Edgeline Films.
Directed by Lance Oppenheim, inspired by the Times’ article “The Sperm Kings Have a Problem: Too Much Demand” by Nellie Bowles, Spermworld is described as a road movie set inside the new wild west of baby making – online forums where sperm donors connect with hopeful parents.
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Per the synopsis: Against the landscape of roadside motels, abandoned shopping malls and suburban bathrooms across the country, the film follows intimate encounters between donors and recipients as they exchange more than just genetic material. Spermworld examines how our fantasies about partnership and parenthood shape our deepest desires. What emerges in this new feature-length documentary directed by Lance Oppenheim is an incisive portrait of the search for human connection in an increasingly alienating world.
Kathleen Lingo of The New York Times serves as executive producer alongside Elyse Steinberg, Josh Kriegman and Eli Despres for Edgeline Films. Lauren Belfer is producing. Oppenheim continues his collaboration with director of photography David Bolen, editor Daniel Garber, co-producers Sophie Kissinger and Christian Vazquez, and composer Ari Balouzian. It is his first collaboration with producer Lauren Belfer (Thank You Very Much, Rolling Thunder Revue).
“In 2020, I received an email from journalist Nellie Bowles containing her ideas for a story about the online, unregulated sperm universe,” said Oppenheim. “As I read her notes, I started seeing her words in images. The tone of a movie began to emerge – strangers meeting to produce life in lonely places: strip malls at night, empty parking lots. I wanted to make a film that touched on modern loneliness and the quest to solve that feeling through the Internet, altruism and reproduction. I’m thrilled to have realized this portrait with partners as bold and supportive as FX, Edgeline Films and The New York Times.”
“Sperm donation is one of the latest industries to be disrupted by the internet,” said Lingo, the Editorial Director of Film and Television at The New York Times and the film’s executive producer. “This new online marketplace for sperm raises questions from the risks involved in sourcing from unknown donors to the very definition of family itself. This film deftly explores all of this and more through Oppenheim’s humane cinematic lens.”
Spermworld will premiere Friday, March 29 at 10 pm ET/PT on FX and stream the next day on Hulu.
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