Disney has announced details on a new documentary by FX called “Spermworld”, which is a road movie set inside the new Wild West of baby-making – online forums where sperm donors connect with hopeful parents. 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.

This documentary is being produced by The New York Times and Edgeline Films and is inspired by the Times’ article “The Sperm Kings Have a Problem: Too Much Demand” by Nellie Bowles.

“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-producer Christian Vazquez, and composer Ari Balouzian. It is his first collaboration with producer Lauren Belfer, a key creative force behind Venice-winning Thank You Very Much and Martin Scorsese’s Rolling Thunder Revue.

Lance Oppenheim said in a statement:

“In 2020, I received an email from journalist Nellie Bowles containing her ideas for a story about the online, unregulated sperm universe.  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.”

Kathleen Lingo, the Editorial Director of Film and Television at The New York Times and the film’s executive producer, added:

“Sperm donation is one of the latest industries to be disrupted by the internet.  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.”

Lance Oppenheim is a filmmaker known for blending nonfiction storytelling with heightened, cinematic formalism and flourishes of the surreal. His first feature, Some Kind of Heaven, premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and was released by Magnolia Pictures and Hulu in 2021 to critical acclaim. His second feature, “Spermworld”, and his first television series, Ren Faire, will premiere on FX and HBO, respectively, in 2024.

“Spermworld” is the second collaboration between FX and The New York Times, following the success of their investigative journalism docuseries The New York Times Presents (formerly The Weekly), now presenting its third series of documentary features.

It is also the third documentary feature from FX, following AKA Jane Roe, director Nick Sweeney’s portrait of Norma McCorvey, the “Jane Roe” whose unwanted pregnancy led to the 1973 case that legalized abortion nationwide, Roe v. Wade, and Hysterical, the feature documentary from director Andrea Nevins that journeys backstage and on the road with veteran comedians, rising stars and novices to discover how an intrepid group of boundary-breaking females are changing the game and exploring what it takes to become the voices of their generation and their gender.

This new documentary will premiere on Friday, 29th March 2024, at 10 p.m. ET/PT on FX and stream the next day on Hulu (and likely on Hulu On Disney+).  No international release details have been confirmed.

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Roger Palmer

Roger has been a Disney fan since he was a kid and this interest has grown over the years. He has visited Disney Parks around the globe and has a vast collection of Disney movies and collectibles. He is the owner of What's On Disney Plus & DisKingdom. Email: Roger@WhatsOnDisneyPlus.com Twitter: Twitter.com/RogPalmerUK Facebook: Facebook.com/rogpalmeruk

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