INFERTILITY ON ICE: A beer league hockey player struggles with infertility.
"Avsharian has cleverly framed his film about male infertility from a conventionally male perspective using hockey as a metaphor to provide both context and levity. Sport provides an immediate connection to an uncomfortable and embarrassing topic with both situations and language that are laughingly familiar to both men and women. As an entry into the increasingly complex and demoralizing process of the infertility treadmill about which men frequently feel baffled and disengaged, Avsharian uses that parallel to create a deeply personal and compelling narrative.
“Pulling the Goalie” is not only a bittersweet movie that is both highly entertaining and moving, it also enters the underpopulated niche of works specifically dealing with the multiple issues faced by couples dealing with male infertility. Avsharian brings a lighthearted touch to a challenging health concern that exposes these issues with an honest yet hopeful touch. My hope is that his film will become recommended viewing for future couples with such issues, sports enthusiasts or not."
Dr. John Randolph, University of Michigan
Reproductive Endocrinology, Obstetrics and Gynecology
Directed by Hiag Avsharian
Starring: Mason Heidger, Lani Call
"I have been writing this screenplay on and off again after the birth of our first child Megan (with the help of infertility treatments), nearly 12 years ago. As emotionally difficult as our infertility journey was at times, I became aware of how much more difficult the journey had been for others (e.g. multiple miscarriages). I also learned that infertility is relatively common and on the increase as couples wait until later in life to get pregnant while at the same time nearly all pop culture gives us the sense that it is easy to get pregnant. Furthermore, stories are almost always about men resisting their wives'/girlfriend's desire to start a family, which works for drama and comedy but greatly misrepresents men, and especially men going through infertility. Lastly, and importantly, infertility treatments are expensive and insurance coverage varies widely based on where you happen to live. Thankfully we could afford the level of treatment we needed, but I thought it would be a social injustice if a couple couldn't have a child because they couldn't afford treatments. All in all, I felt like this was a story that I needed to at least try and tell once it had rooted itself in my head."