LOS ANGELES, CA - Sitting in the plush comfort of Laemmle Monica Theater in the heart of downtown here, you are jolted out of your safety zone while you watch with growing horror and grief the film - SOLD Child sex trafficking is the second largest organized crime in the world. Trafficking of young girls aged 9-14 years,
“Yes, it cuts to the bone,” emphasizes Academy Award winning director Jeffrey D Brown, at the Red Carpet event . Talking with IJ, he says that having learned of the thousands of children trapped by sex traffickers he was compelled to make the film. “It was a very difficult experience but I had to do it. Our hope is that our film will foster global policy change and raise substantial funds for survivors in India, Nepal and the United States ”
SOLD has won awards and was the opening night presentation at numerous film festivals across the US and around the world.
Produced by Executive Producer Emma Thompson and Jane Charles featuring David Arquette, Gillian Anderson (X FILES) Sushmita Mukherjee, NeerjaNaik ,Seirah Royin and Prambatra Chatterjee, the film pulls the audience into the dark history of child rape of underage children day after day. Poverty, illiteracy, corruption, culture, are vicious strangleholds on innocent vulnerable children who have been taught never to say no to an adult. The laws are tweaked, police are easily snared by bribery and there is indifference as many see it not as a crime but as a poor child migrating to a better livelihood. Parents are afraid to look for help as they have never found justice.
But the film is also about hope , the courage and resilience of the innocent children determined to reinvent their lives. It is a call to everyone to seek out sexual predators and seek an urgent solution.
SOLD is based on the international bestselling novel by Patricia McCormick. The book has been translated into 32 languages. Inspired by true events, the film takes us to Nepal where the average age of a girl who is trafficked for sex is 12-14 years old.
A young girl, Lakshmi, leaves her home in a quiet village in Nepal to search for a job in the big city of Kolkata. A wedding guest at a family party lures her into a job. Lakshmi’s only ambition is to make enough money to buy a tin roof for her parents who are mired in poverty. She soon realizes she has been trafficked into a prison brothel. A US photographer (Gillian Anderson) hears her cries for help and works with an NGO, to rescue her.
One hopes that the film will be made in regional languages to make people aware of this blatant criminal industry which is largely ignored. It is difficult to critique the film, because the sordidness, the tragedy is not there to be vivisected and analyzed. Instead you are left with a raw pain at the atrocities and you leave the theater asking yourself what can I do about it. The very intention of the film makers. The searing film begs us to let the voices of the unknown children be heard.
The film is sparking off the ‘Taught Not Trafficked’ campaign to rescue and rehabilitate children sold into slavery.