The intense, emotional story of one 13 year-old girl’s quest for freedom after finding herself a victim of human trafficking between Nepal and India, hit the big screen in the feature film SOLD. Globally, the average age of a girl who is trafficked for sex is 13-14 years old, according to ECPAT, a global network dedicated to protecting children. (#SoldTheMovie, #Siliconeer, @Siliconeer, #SOLDmovie, @SOLDmovie)
The acclaimed film is directed by Oscar-winning filmmaker Jeffrey Dean Brown (MOLLY’S PILGRIM), executive produced by Oscar winner Emma Thompson, and produced by Jane Charles. The ensemble cast includes Gillian Anderson (X-FILES) and David Arquette. Based on the international bestselling novel by Patricia McCormick, inspired by true events, SOLD depicts the story of an extraordinary girl Lakshmi who is trafficked across the Nepal-India border and forced to work in a brothel in Kolkata, India. By telling one girl’s story, SOLD gives voice to the millions of trafficked children who are unheard and unseen. McCormick’s book has been translated into 32 languages and has frequently been the entry point for people to learn about the issue of modern day slavery.
SOLD stars an extensive cast and includes appearances by Gillian Anderson, the Golden Globe and Emmy-winning actress who portrays the U.S. photographer Sophia, fighting against the odds to rescue girls like Lakshmi, together with the help of NGO workers Mrs Tripathi portrayed by Seirah Royin, and a U.S. volunteer Sam, portrayed by David Arquette, and Vikram portrayed by Prambrata Chatterjee.
The film has won awards and was the opening night film at numerous film festivals across the United States and around the world.
Brown believes that just as McCormick’s book was a call to action for himself, this new film can serve as a call to global action on child sex trafficking. He said: “Our hope is that our film will foster global policy change and raise substantial funds for survivors in India, Nepal and the United States.” Brown took inspiration from the Academy Award-winning documentary Born Into Brothels. It is his intention that audiences experience Lakshmi’s child-like view of the world. The average age of girls trafficked for sex between Nepal and India is 13-16 years old, according to Matthew Friedman an expert in trafficking and an advisor to the film.
Comments on the craft and issue impact potential of the movie from Executive Producer Emma Thompson: “It’s very rare that a piece of art or story telling could really help to change things, but SOLD is one of those films,” said Emma Thompson “It’s a beautiful piece of work and it tells the unseen story of millions and millions of children.” Thompson continued: “Because of SOLD’s marvelous script and courageous and brilliant cast, it is a story that we can all watch – so that we may understand the processes of slavery…and feel able to act without feeling the kind of rage and hopelessness that gets in the way of doing anything.”
Synopsis: A young girl, Lakshmi, leaves her home in a quiet village in the Nepali Himalayas in the expectation of a job in big city India. However, upon her arrival in Kolkata, she soon realizes she has been trafficked into a prison brothel, where she must struggle daily to survive against impossible odds. A US photographer (Gillian Anderson) hears her cries for help and works with an NGO, to spearhead a dangerous mission to rescue her. Finally, Lakshmi must risk everything for freedom. SOLD is a testament to the resilience of the human spirit and a clarion call to action.
Social Impact Initiative and Partnerships: SOLD is part of a wider effort to raise awareness and funds to address the issue of child trafficking.
The film team has a campaign called Taught Not Trafficked which the release of the film SOLD will drive. The film, in partnership with many global non-profits: ECPAT, Save the Children, World Vision, United Way, Rotary International, ATEST, the Walk Free Campaign, Stolen Youth, Childreach International and others, will leverage the power of the film to lead a major advocacy campaign tied with the theatrical release – intending to create real impact on the issue of sex trafficking. The goals of this campaign are to raise funds for: prevention through education, the healing and vocational training of survivors.