TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Nov. 15, 2012) - Multi-award winning Toronto-based production company Associated Producers is putting the final touches on its latest feature length investigative documentary Tales From the Organ Trade. The film, produced in association with HBO in the U.S. and Shaw Media in Canada, is the latest investigative documentary from Emmy Award-winning Director Ric Esther Bienstock. In the past, Bienstock and her colleagues at Associated Producers received international acclaim for their undercover investigations of sex trafficking in women from the former Soviet Union and sex trafficking of children in India.
Their new film, Tales From the Organ Trade, is an unflinching descent into the shadowy world of black-market organ trafficking: the brokers, the rogue surgeons, the impoverished victims who are willing to sacrifice an organ for a quick payday and the desperate patients who face the agonizing choice of obeying the law or saving their lives. The film was shot in the Philippines, Turkey, Israel, Moldova, Kosovo, Ukraine, Canada and the U.S. It will be broadcast in 2013.
"David Cronenberg is known for directing groundbreaking films about the body and body parts. His ideas often make us feel uncomfortable. We loved the idea of having him narrate the documentary, as a nod to this idea of intelligent discomfort. It's a coup for us that he agreed to narrate our film," said Bienstock. "While on location filming the world of black market organ trafficking, I was surprised to find myself on a very ethically ambiguous journey. Here, the villains were saving lives, the exploited were willing participants in what happened and the perpetrators - the recipients of these organs - were driven by a desperate need to live. I found myself questioning my own ethics and morals about this issue and I wanted the film to take audiences on a similar journey," she said.
Tales From the Organ Trade was written and directed by Ric Esther Bienstock, and produced by Bienstock, Felix Golubev and Simcha Jacobovici.
The film was produced by Associated Producers in association with HBO Documentary Films, Shaw Media and Canal D. Executive Producer for HBO is Sheila Nevins, Senior Producer for HBO is Nancy Abraham. Executive in Charge of Production for Shaw Media is Lynne Carter. Director, Original Programming for Canal D is Sylvie de Bellefeuille.
The film was produced with the participation of the Canadian Television Fund, Rogers Documentary Fund and with the assistance of The Canadian Film or Video Production Tax Credit and the Ontario Film and Television Tax Credit.