'Abortion Helpline, This is Lisa' shortlisted for the 93rd Academy Awards Documentary Short Subject Category

April 12, 2021

University of the Arts Professor and Film Program Director Mike Attie’s recent short documentary, Abortion Helpline, This is Lisa, was shortlisted in the Documentary Short Subject Category for the 93rd Annual Academy Awards. The film was co-directed with Barbara Attie and Janet Goldwater and features the work of numerous UArts students and alumni, including location sound by Courtney Kehr BFA ’19 (Film) and Caitlin Riggsbee BFA ’18 (Film), sound design and score by Timothy Day BM  ’99 (Jazz Composition) and poster design by Angela Hanson BFA ’20 (Graphic Design).

The film is set at a Philadelphia abortion helpline, where counselors arrive each morning to the nonstop ring of calls from women and teens who are seeking to end a pregnancy but can’t afford to. In this short documentary, viewers learn how economic stigma and cruel legislation determines who in the U.S. has access to abortion.

The Academy shortlist is one of many recent accolades the project has received since its debut in 2019. The film was chosen from among 9,000 submissions to be screened at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival; was an official selection of the 2019 Philadelphia Film Festival and the 2020 Full Frame Documentary Film Festival; and won the Grand Jury Prize for Short Films at the AFI DOCS Film Festival, a major nonfiction film festival in the U.S. 

All this continued momentum serves to support the ultimate goals of the film: to raise awareness about the negative impact of discriminatory policies surrounding abortion—notably, the Hyde Amendment—and highlight the need for reproductive justice.