Pharma is based on the incredible true story of Dr. Frances "Frankie" Kelsey and her fight to keep a dangerous drug from being approved for the US market. Risking her career and family along the way, Frankie wages war against big Pharma in 1960, resisting intense pressure and threats from inside the FDA to expose the biggest unmonitored drug trial in US history.
Audiences hunger for compelling true stories that amplify light. Pharma is an important and critically relevant story for this moment in history. As we emerge from a global pandemic and new information comes to light each day, Frankie’s story highlights the risk of placing trust in huge corporations and government entities without proper oversight.
Dr. Kelsey’s heroic efforts are an example of what one person can do to prevent disaster and change the course of history.
Frankie’s story will inspire audiences for years to come and shine a light on the overlooked tragedy that has impacted tens of thousands of people around the world. Her battle was one of David and Goliath proportions: One woman taking on the billion-dollar pharmaceutical industry to expose corruption and prevent a national tragedy.
The ramifications of this historical event still linger today. Though Dr. Kelsey’s efforts prevented a US disaster, many around the world suffered. To date, survivors of thalidomide have not received full restitution. Our goal is to highlight the courage of Dr. Kelsey and shine a light on one of history’s hidden stories. We hope to encourage survivors, by showing them that their story has not gone unnoticed, and impact audiences to take action in the face of injustice.
*Ashley Bratcher, most recognized for her breakout role as the star of Unplanned, will take on the supporting role of Dr. Barbara Moulton, who worked at the FDA around the same time as Kelsey. She became one of the first whistleblowers in the U.S.
Our total production budget is $12 million dollars for the development, production, postproduction, and attachment of key talent. Casting the perfect actress to play Dr. Kelsey will be critical and the power of a larger budget allows us to attach a household name talent to take on the monumental role. Our goal is to raise a significant portion of our budget through crowdfunding, in addition to commitments from private investors. Part of this budget will be allocated to ongoing development, with the balance allocated towards production and distribution. By expressing interest, you’ll be raising awareness that this story should be seen on screens around the world.
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Ashley Bratcher, award winning actress and the star of the box office hit Unplanned, is the lead producer of the project. Unplanned premiered at number 4 its opening weekend in the box office among major Hollywood Studio competition including Captain Marvel, Us and Dumbo. According to Box Office Mojo, the film took in an estimated $6,110,000 at the end of the weekend, with a cumulative per-screen average of $5,770 on just 1,059.
To date, it has grossed over $21 million dollars off of a modest $6 million dollar budget. Ashley’s heart for telling true stories that encourage positive change has been the driving force for bringing Pharma to the screen.
In 2020, Ashley founded her own production company, Simple Jane Films, to focus on creating content about ordinary women with extraordinary stories. She is backed by an executive team with a combined 15 years' experience in filmmaking and movies. Their areas of expertise include screenwriting, production, public relations, acting, marketing, business law, and distribution.