Artists for Change aims to create a series of educational media to raise awareness on the commercial sexual exploitation of minors.
1. LOST GIRLS: ANGIE (Feature Film)
WHY THIS FILM?
Everyday, the sex trafficking industry grows rampant and continues to hold a global threat on our children’s innocence and safety. Sex trafficking is so out of control now that it has become the second largest criminal activity in the US alone. Education and awareness are desperately needed to prevent future entrapment of innocent minors. Anyone, regardless of their age, sex, race, or demographic can fall victim to traffickers, which is why it is so vital for our communities to understand the reality of this dangerous epidemic. Slavery cannot continue to exist in this modern age.
The practice of narrative story telling is how we as filmmakers spark awareness and unleash real issues to the public eye. Our upcoming movie, LOST GIRLS: ANGIE’S STORY, will focus on the various methods that traffickers use to recruit children. Communities that are aware of signs and symptoms will feel safer knowing their teenagers understand the types of situations to avoid and parents can recognize signs of trafficking and alert officials.
LOST GIRLS: ANGIE’S STORY aims to encourage people, make them step forward, and actively support local organizations pushing for change. We want LOST GIRLS: ANGIE’S STORY to inspire audiences to use their voice and support the victims who were and still are forced to endure the brutal injustice of this slavish market.
Big issues with little attention need a powerful voice that will send a message to the world. The awareness created through the film, Blood Diamond, has changed the way many diamond mining companies operate and has also allowed individuals to understand the issues surrounding ‘conflict diamonds.’
Education and awareness promote action, and action leads to change — film is a great medium to do this through.
LOST GIRLS: ANGIE’S STORY explores the CHALLENGES that police and other organizations face in:
- fighting to stop and prevent sex trafficking
- aiding rescued children through their recovery in rehabilitation homes
- protecting rescued victims from the threats of their former traffickers
Compelling in both story and action, LOST GIRLS: ANGIE’S STORY is a tale of triumph over adversity, of hope over shame that will result in a PG-13 film that is suitable for teens and families. Currently this film is in post-production.
Once LOST GIRLS: ANGIE’S STORY is finished, we will promote it through film festivals and community screenings to help raise awareness on sex trafficking. In addition, the film will be shown globally through the traditional distribution pipelines and will also be made available for educational purposes to NGO’s fighting human trafficking.
This feature film will be accompanied by an educational documentary as well as various supplemental tools (more info below).
We cannot do this alone — but together we can.
ABOUT THE FILM
After escaping from a sex trafficking ring, one teenage girl struggles to reconnect with herself and family after years of separation.
Ultimately, in order to find herself and rescue her helpless friends, she must confront her own fears and help lead the police to her traffickers — no matter the cost.
Sixteen-year-old Angie Morgan feels that her parents don’t understand her. When she is befriended by the good looking and seductive Mario everything seems to change for the better. He understands her desire to be a musician and promises to help her fulfill her dreams. However her innocent, suburban life is upended when Mario lures her away and sells her to a sex trafficking ring.
Angie is shocked and scared at her new found situation but hangs on to the belief that Mario loves her and that they will eventually both get out of the situation and create a good life together. Finally when it becomes clear to her that this will never happen, she is so over come with shame and remorse for the lifestyle she is stuck into that all seems hopeless.
When her closest friend and fellow victim, Zoe finds out that Angie is about to be shipped off to Miami and finds away for them to escape, they both decide to make a run for it. Angie manages to escape, but Zoe herself is not so lucky. Alone and heartbroken with her friend still imprisoned by their traffickers, Angie returns home to find that “normal” life is somehow anything but normal.
Burdened by her severe PTSD and guilt, Angie shies away from both her family and the police, terrified that her traffickers will return for her (or worse, her little sister) if she gives away any information. Luckily Angie meets Rachel, a former trafficking victim turned caseworker who is desperately searching for the girl who was in her care but taken back by her traffickers, Zoe. As Rachel lends her strength, Angie begins to consider standing up to the traffickers. But after witnessing them mutilate other girls as a violent warning to those who talk, will Angie’s conditioned fear hold her back, or will she persevere to protect her family and help rescue Zoe and the others?
2. SUPPLY & DEMAND (Documentary)
The short documentary, SUPPLY & DEMAND, is a companion piece to our narrative feature film, LOST GIRLS: ANGIE’S STORY. The documentary will convey more facts on trafficking through interviews with experts working in the field. So far, our production team has interviewed experts such as Lieutenant Andre Dawson, (LAPD, who supervised the daily operations of the Los Angeles Metropolitan Human Trafficking Task Force and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Child Exploitation Task Force). As well as Kim Biddle, (founder and Executive Director of Saving Innocence) and Patrick Lambertz, (CEO of Man Against The Trafficking Of Others).
3. EDUCATIONAL SHORT FILMS AND PSA’S
We are currently developing a series of educational short films and PSA’s to illustrate through narrative short stories how traffickers recruit teenagers through the internet and alluring job offers.
These shorts and PSA’s will be made available online and given to other NGO’s, schools, and foster care institutions to support their efforts to prevent future trafficking. We will use our skills as filmmakers and storytellers to create engaging and impactful content.
Teenagers need to be able to understand when they or their friends are being targeted. We believe that education leads to prevention.
SEE OUR PLANS FOR THE MAKING OF “ANGIE”
ABOUT OUR PREVIOUS WORK:
LOST GIRLS (Short Film)
The award-winning short film LOST GIRLS, the first in our series of “Lost Girls” films, was used by many NGO’s as an educational and fundraising tool to fight trafficking. It was screened at many top film festivals and is currently being used for educational purposes at schools around the US and the UK.
Artists For Change president, Julia Verdin, presented the LOST GIRLS short film at a World Bank Conference to attendees from NGO’s all around the world as a case study for “Creating Social Messaging Through Film.” Verdin has also illustrated the techniques she used to create the film and how the participants could work with local filmmakers to produce similar media.
The film was also broadcasted as part of an educational program on trafficking on KNXT.
SEE THE TRAILER HERE:
“Lost Girls (short) is a film to be seen by anyone who has a daughter, sister, niece, granddaughter, girl friend, a young female whom you love and cannot imagine seeing hurt. The film does an excellent job of outlining the warning signs of which caring people must be aware. Unfortunately, there are so many communities where children are often spending a lot of time alone. Parents, guardians working numerous jobs to make ends meet, family with second language issues and poverty issues. Warning signs can be missed.
I highly recommend Verdin’s film to Police Departments, Park and Recreation Departments and Boys and Girls Clubs where parents can be brought in to learn about this issue and the options available to them when things go wrong.
Julia Verdin and Artists for Change is to be congratulated for taking on a most controversial subject which is often swept out of the room and almost never discussed in polite company.”
— Julie Coyne, Chair and Founder, Southeast Community Foundation, Los Angeles