Filmmaker Raises Money For Documentary Exposing Human Trafficking In India
Recently, I met documentary filmmaker Casey Allred, who is producing a film about sex trafficking in India, Nepal and Bangladesh. The story is tragic but exposing it is key to ending the suffering of young girls in this region. The film is called Stolen Innocence and their Kickstarter campaign just launched today.
I caught up with Casey this morning to get the latest information on the campaign. Here’s what he told me.
What is the social benefit you hope to achieve with or through your crowdfunding campaign?
The documentary, Stolen Innocence, visits India, Nepal and Bangladesh, telling first hand accounts of sex trafficking survivors. Stories are heart wrenching and powerful, interviewing brothel owners, traffickers and anti-trafficking activists.
Chris Davis and I will use funds to complete film production, and raise awareness of the sex trafficking problem; giving a voice to silenced victims of the trade. Casey then has hopes to continue his philanthropy work in education, opening female-only schools and breaking the cycle of trafficking.
When asked why he’s doing this, Allred responds ‘We all have the power within us to save these girls. Bringing this film to the masses is a step toward achieving that. Helping just one girl would make it all worth it.’
How much money are you hoping to raise and why? How much have you raised so far?
Starting August 7th, the Kickstarter campaign has until September 7th 23.59 PST to reach fundraising goal of $100k. The campaign has raised $5,600 in the first two hours.
If the full amount isn’t achieved, the film gets no funding. This all or nothing approach is risky, but keeps momentum high. It is scary, but it’s the best platform for us. We have faith that people will support this cause and help us save these girls.
If the campaign is successful, all funds will go directly toward finishing the documentary on sex trafficking. Costs include a production crew, marketing team, and distribution.
However, fighting for the exploited has not been easy, even stateside. A Rigby, Idaho native, I have self-funded the project so far, and risked homelessness by moving to San Francisco for the cause – the best location for fundraising. When filming in India, exposing this industry presents constant risks to our safety, as well as deportation from a country we love.
Whom are you trying to help with your project and why?
I set up Effect.org in 2010, with the intent of providing education to India’s children.The problem was dire with India home to 38% of the world’s illiterate people.
While in college, a small team and I successfully built a school in Bihar, India. During this work, I noticed a troubling trend – a decrease in numbers of female students.
Investigating the problem, a local attorney reluctantly let me in on the answer – schools and families were losing their girls to the sex trafficking trade. With the world’s largest trafficking ring operating in India, the issue was substantial.
With one third of the country living below the poverty line, many victims are deprived and uneducated. With no enforcement of laws and minimal government involvement, traffickers see the poor as low risk.
The issue quickly became personal. Learning that education is the best proven way to prevent trafficking, bringing these issues together was crucial.
I teamed up with award winning filmmaker Chris Davis to give the girls of the sex trafficking trade a voice, with a documentary spanning India, Nepal and Bangladesh.
What rewards, if any, are you offering to your supporters?
There are a range of rewards, including: Your name listed in credits after the film, dinner in San Francisco with filmmakers, exclusive invitations to early screenings, personal digital copies of the documentary, a high quality documentary poser, a trip to India hosted by filmmakers, and professional images shot by filmmakers whilst on location.
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