Distributor:  Icarus Films
Length:  56 minutes
Date:  1996
Genre:  Expository
Language:  English
Grade level: 10-12, College, Adult
Color/BW:  Color
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Ms. Conceptions

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A look at single thirty-something women who are choosing artificial insemination as the route to motherhood, as well as the industry that has grown up to serve them.

Ms. Conceptions

What makes a vibrant, college educated, and single thirty-something woman decide to pack in the search for Mr. Right and pick up a $250 vial of sperm instead? Over the past decade, the birth-rate among this group of women has nearly tripled. They may have given up on relationships but are unwilling to sacrifice Motherhood. In their models of family, men are superfluous.

Lea is 32 and has chosen artificial insemination, even though it makes her feel 'dirty' and leaves her wondering 'who will really be the father of this child.' Rebecca, 38, is tired of her 'party girl' life, and scours personal ads for a suitable 'live donor.' And Anne, 39, who was 'accidentally' impregnated by her ex-boyfriend, must cope with a wanted - but solitary - pregnancy.

The film also looks at the burgeoning sperm industry; from artificial insemination trade shows, to custom ordered sperm ('the specimen is available in standard or pre-washed'), to the suppliers of raw materials - the anonymous donors who are helping to produce children they will never know.

As it examines both sides of the 'Single Mother by Choice' controversy, MS. CONCEPTIONS charms as it lends invaluable insight into the 'family values' debate raging in the political arena, the media, and in the hearts of three women who decide to go it alone.

'Most provocative... Smartly packaged and slightly wry, [MS. CONCEPTIONS] is quick, smart and entertaining.'-Globe and Mail (Toronto)

'A profound, delightful and compassionate encapsulation of a many-sided issue that has long-term ramifications for all of us.'-Network Magazine

'A riveting, often unsettling documentary.'-Toronto Star

'Excellent... Brings a light touch to a heavy topic, with the happy result that MS. CONCEPTIONS entertains as it informs.'-Montreal Gazette

'Manages to portray [the women] with sensitivity, while maintaining the light touch of ROGER and ME. It's 'eggcellent!''-Eye Magazine


** 1996 Gemini Award Winner for Best Documentary, Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television
** Silver Apple Winner, 1996 National Educational Media Network Competition
** Silver Certificate Winner, 1995 International Documentary Association Awards
** 2000 National Women's Studies Conference Film Festival
** 1995 International Women's Film Festival (Madrid)


Main credits

Bienstock, Ric Esther (film director)
Bienstock, Ric Esther (film producer)
Frum, Linda (film producer)

Other credits

Director of photography, Joan Hutton; editor, Steve Weslak; music, John Welsman.

Distributor credits

A Film by Ric Esther Bienstock

Docuseek2 subjects

Maternal and Child Health
Reproductive Rights
Women's Studies
Medical Procedures

Distributor subjects

Family Relations
Health Issues
Life Sciences
Women's Health
Women's Studies


Fertility; conception; single; mothers; motherhood; family; documentary; film; video; "Ms. Conceptions"; Icarus Films

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