Once in a while, you see the film medium being used to relay a message and relay a call to action. And when that happens, the medium becomes truly powerful in becoming a catalyst for change and transformation.
Sold, a film by Academy Award winning Jeffrey Brown, is a film based on Patricia McCormick’s accounts of young girls who are victims of child trafficking, based on one character from Nepal. Following the protagonist Lakshmi’s voyage from a simple town in Nepal to a brothel in Kolkata. It is an example of how one girl’s fighter spirit enables her to overcome the situation by enlisting the help of humanitarians and NGOs around her. What is shocking is that this story is repeated and relived thousands of times in India and other countries throughout the world, often without any escape. SOLD has won three audience awards and a Jury in the film circuit. The theatrical release is set for March 2016 and the film will also be expanding the release with a theatrical-on-demand release as well. What this means is that if you go to the website: www.soldthemovie.com you can host a screening at a theater near you.
Having seen SOLD at a preview screening in San Francisco, I can vouch that the taut drama is riveting and shocking all at once, and compels viewers to take action. Thankfully, there are multiple ways this can be done, owing to the efforts of Brown and producer Jane Charles, and two-time Oscar-winning Executive Producer Emma Thompson. And further, courtesy of teaming up with organizations like Save the Children, Childreach International, Walk Free, ECPAT (End Child Prostitution, Child Pornography and Trafficking of Children for Sexual Purposes), United Way, Rotary Clubs International, Stolen Youth, etc.
Further work with these organizations can be seen here.
The team has launched a $50,000 campaign on Indiegogo to ensure that SOLD can reach a wide audience. With this amount acquired in just 1 week, the goal is to surpass the milestones of $120,000 or $150,000, which will enable a larger release.
Donate to the Campaign here.
The power of the message can be amplified if Sold is screened within communities, which can act to strengthen each other to make a difference. The team has reached out to interfaith organizations for the largest impact, resulting in collaborations with the Walk Free campaign of over 8 million individuals and the Anti Trafficking group in Rotary International. Stolenyouth.org is another such organization founded by 12 of the investors and producer Charles. This is an example of how a community can take action and make real change. The filmmakers plan to enlist 10 more cities to follow the Stolen Youth example using their film as the conversation starter.
For information on how to organize a screening, click here.
Of the many communities that can be built, social or academic ones in universities and schools are critical to enlightening the youth. With the global average age of children being affected being 13, it is important to send the message to the youth who can take it upon themselves to take action in a number of ways. In order to do this, the Sold team is coming up with a shorter, 50-minute version of the film to inform this age group of the problem, so as to create a ripple effect amongst these demographic communities. With the power of social media, and the change driven energy of students and young professionals, this can be a solid step in creating a new generation that is motivated to address this complex issue of modern day slavery across the world.
SOLD Facebook Page
For more information, click here.
Overall, one of the amazing things about the film is that it is not just about trafficking, but is a vehicle that can catalyze a change. As Brown himself says, the goal is to “…help and protect kids from being trafficked, and if they were trafficked to find multiple ways that we can support them.”