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Award-winning HPV vaccine documentary selected for 2018 Reading Film Fest, Reading PA


November 01, 2018, READING, PA, USA. Press Dispensary. Following film festival success earlier this year in New York and Australia, the award-winning film documentary Sacrificial Virgins has been selected for screening at the Reading Film Fest, held annually in Reading, PA.

Written and narrated by Joan Shenton and directed by Andi Reiss, both established film makers in the UK, Sacrificial Virgins investigates extensive global concerns over the safety of the controversial HPV* vaccines, Gardasil and Cervarix, and the state-sponsored HPV vaccination programs found in the US, UK and elsewhere. Under these programs, HPV vaccines are very widely administered, often via schools, to teenage girls and, increasingly, boys, with proposals to extend programs to younger, pre-puberty children.

This is despite rising evidence that – as Joan Shenton startlingly concludes in describing Sacrificial Virgins,these programs are ruining thousands upon thousands of lives, some fatally, with no evidence that they are delivering on their core promise: to prevent future cervical cancer.

Reading Film Fest – which describes itself as created by filmmakers for filmmakers and film lovers – is to screen Sacrificial Virgins in its Social & Health Issues Docs section this coming Saturday, November 3.

Joan Shenton – who is recovering from a recent serious fall and cannot attend Reading in person – said: “We are honoured to be selected by Reading Film Fest for the Saturday screening. We feel recognised not only for making an important contribution to US and world health but also for creating a film appreciated by filmmakers, and that is a double honour.

In fact, there is something of a triple honour as Sacrificial Virgins is also being screened the same weekend in Australia, on the final night of the Melbourne Underground Film Festival.

Ms Shenton continued: “Sacrificial Virgins shows, through painstakingly meticulous research and interviews with some of the world’s most renowned medical and scientific experts in the field, that reasons for doubting the world’s HPV vaccination programs are accelerating by the day. Yet some health authorities’ response is, frighteningly, to step up their programs.

For example, Australia, where Gardasil was developed, recently claimed it would be the first country to effectively eliminate cervical cancer (1) but data now shows that, far from eliminating cancer, there isn’t even a downward trend in cervical cancer diagnoses among women in the age group first targeted by the vaccine (2). In fact, in the UK the annual increase in cervical cancer diagnoses in such women is actually accelerating (3), which should be wake-up call to health authorities there and in the United States.

Shenton concluded: “These health authorities should be suspending their programs until independent science gives the all clear. That is what Sacrificial Virgins calls for. But at the moment, they are doing quite the reverse, even as independent science is saying the opposite of ‘all clear’.

Sacrificial Virgins will be screened from 12pm on Saturday, November 3, 2018 at Reading IMAX Theater, 30 N 2nd St, Reading. Tickets are $10 from the festival. For more, see .

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Notes for editors
(2) Gardasil alert – open letter by Nicole Delépine, Paediatrician/Oncologist & Gérard Delépine, Orthopaedic Surgeon/Oncologist, July 23, 2018 (French):
English translation: AND
Australian cervical cancer incidence (graph):
(3) UK cervical cancer incidence trends (Cancer Research UK): AND
UK cervical cancer rates vs HPV vaccination %, ages 20-24: (graph)

Joan Shenton is a British journalist, writer and film-maker with extensive experience of producing and presenting peak time television and radio programmes for the BBC, Channel 4, Central TV, and Thames TV. Her production company, Meditel Productions, was the first independent ever to win a Royal Television Society Award for an episode of Channel 4's Dispatches. It has produced eight network documentaries for UK Channel 4, Sky News and M-Net, South Africa on the AIDS debate. AIDS - The Unheard Voices won the Royal Television Society Award for Current Affairs.

Sacrificial Virgins is a 30 minute documentary which has won awards at the Queens World Film Festival in Queens, New York, and the Watchdog Film Festival, Brisbane, Australia. It will be screened on the second day of the Reading Film Fest, in Reading, Pennsylvania, USA, on November 3, 2018.

* HPV (Human Papilloma Virus) is a virus commonly found in women's cervixes. In almost all cases the infection does not produce symptoms and clears up without treatment or complications. The HPV vaccine is proven to be able to prevent HPV infection. The controversy lies around the claim by those who administer the HPV vaccine that HPV is also the cause of the majority of cervical cancers in later life; Sacrificial Virgins offers evidence showing this claim as unproven and lacking scientific proof, and therefore disputes the claim that administering the vaccine now will prevent this cancer in years to come. The film concludes that if the HPV vaccine’s only proven benefit is to prevent HPV, but not cervical cancer, then the risks far outweigh potential benefits and therefore the drugs should be withdrawn pending further independent investigation.

For further information please contact
Joan Shenton, Sacrificial Virgins
Tel: UK + 44 7957 585515 / US 011 44 79 57 58 55 15

Site and film:
Reading Film Fest screening:

Media contacts

Joan Shenton
Tel: UK + 44 7957 585515 / US 011 44 79 57 58 55 15

Site and film:
Reading Film Fest screening:

HPV vaccine Sacrificial Virgins film awards Reading Film Fest adverse medical effects neurological damage Joan Shenton Andi Reiss


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