In 2015, a friend and law enforcement leader who formerly worked as a special investigator with the Drug Enforcement Agency told me a story about a human trafficking ring he investigated. The story is about one victim’s failed escape attempt and how her captors punished her. It’s a horrible and heartbreaking story that I have been unable to get out of my head. It’s a story that prompted me to begin researching human trafficking and its wide-reaching but hidden presence around the world.
Now, I’d like to share this story that had such a profound impact on me and my awareness of the human trafficking and sex trafficking industries with others, with the hope that seeing the story unfold on screen will have a similar effect on all those who will watch.
I’m a journalist who hobbies as a filmmaker and I don’t expect to pocket a dime from this project. However, I’m asking for your help to ensure the financial resources are in place to make this film properly; ensure it is distributed to festivals; and made available to law enforcement agencies, nonprofits, and learning institutions interested in screening and sharing this story.
A modest $4,500 budget has been to create a 20-minute narrative film to be completed by fall 2017. The film will not be pleasant to watch. It will be disturbing. It will be violent. It will be emotionally moving. And hopefully, it will create a dialogue about this issue and leave those who watch eager to learn more.
I hope you will donate a few dollars to make this film possible and also help us exceed our fundraising goal so that we may bless the agencies and groups who are leading the fight against human trafficking with a financial donation.
Co-producer Merritt Vann and I pledge to donate every dollar that exceeds the goal amount not allocated to the project to these groups and agencies working in the Carolinas and Georgia. All filmmakers, cast and crew involved in the project reside in the Carolinas and Georgia, three states that are impacted by this issue but struggle with awareness and education about human trafficking. Our financial giving will focus on agencies and groups in these states in the Southeast, where too often crimes against women and children aren’t spoken of or are not reported, including instances of human trafficking, sexual slavery, domestic violence and child abuse.
Groups and organizations we pledge to support include, but are not limited to:
- Operation Freedom Awareness, Greenville, SC
- SWITCH, Greenville, SC
- Hope Center for Children, Spartanburg, SC
- Lighthouse for Life, Columbia, SC
- Doors to Freedom, Summerville, SC
- Eastern North Carolina Stop Human Trafficking Now, Farmville, NC
- Triad Ladder of Hope, High Point, NC
- Fields of Hope, Charlotte, NC
- Out of Darkness, Atlanta, GA
- Georgia Cares, Inc., Atlanta, GA
Risks and challenges
I've never attempted a crowdfunding campaign before and am not sure this one will be successful. However, I am optimistic that because so many people are passionate about this issue, they may be willing to help us make this film for the purpose of creating awareness, and also help us exceed our financial goal in order to donate the excess funds to the groups and organizations combating human trafficking in the Southeast.
The film will be made whether or not the fundraising goal is reached, but the funds will ensure the film has the highest possible production value and the greatest chance of being seen and successful.
- (30 days)