Shine’s Selling Our Daughters Selected for Prestigious Hot Docs Pitch Forum in Toronto

Selling Our Daughters - temp still of FonHot Docs today announced that Shine Global’s Selling Our Daughters is one of the 19 projects that will be presented during this year’s Hot Docs Forum. Recognized as North America’s essential market for the international documentary community, the Hot Docs Forum will take place the mornings of April 29 and 30, during the 2015 edition of Hot Docs, April 23 to May 3. This year’s projects represent 15 different countries and were selected from 150 submissions.  This good news follows on the heels of the announcement that Selling Our Daughters is also a finalist for the San Francisco Film Society Documentary grant.

“The Forum is the heart of Hot Docs’ industry programs, pumping life into so many incredible projects each year. This year’s selections represents every level of filmmaker, from master to emerging, and tell remarkable, vibrant and courageous stories from around the world,” says Hot Docs industry programmer Dorota Lech.

Attended by over 500 leading industry professionals, the Forum is focused around a schedule of pre-selected international project presentations made to a roundtable of key international commissioning editors and an observers gallery composed of fellow producers, distributors, sales agents, funders and other buyers. Participating decision makers confirmed to date include Al Jazeera America, Al Jazeera English, ARTE, ARTE/ZDF, BBC Storyville, CANAL +, CBC, CNN Films, DR Danish Broadcasting Corporation, EBS, France Télévision, HBO Europe, NDR, NETFLIX, NHK, PBS, RAI 3, SBS Television, Shaw Media, SRC, SVT Sveriges Television, Showtime, Super Channel, TVOntario, WDR, YLE, ZDF and others.

Shine’s latest documentary Selling Our Daughters explores the dark side of child advocacy.  It unfolds as a mystery as we follow four Thai girls whose parents have sold them into sex work only to discover this story is a lie fabricated by the advocate who supposedly rescued them. They decide to fight back to reclaim their identities despite the risk of losing everything.  Produced by Shine’s Executive Director Susan MacLaury, Selling Our Daughters is directed by Josie Swantek (who was a co-producer of Shine’s Oscar®-nominated War/Dance) and Dave Adams who is also the cinematographer.

To see the full list of selected projects click here.


Shine Global attached to new doc The Eagle Huntress

Eagle Huntress take flightShine Global is happy to announce it is attached to the upcoming documentary feature The Eagle Huntress, the spellbinding story of Aisholpan, a 13-year-old nomad girl in Mongolia who is striving to become the first female Eagle Hunter in 2,000 years of male-dominated history.

The film’s director, Otto Bell, was inspired by the photographs of Asher Svidensky. Described as “Amazing” by the BBC, “Dream-like” by National Geographic, and “Stunning” by the Huffington Post, the self-funded photo essay quickly went viral when it was released in April 2014. Bell optioned the rights and says he “immediately felt a sense of responsibility to carefully bring Aisholpan’s inspiring story to life through film.”

Shine’s Executive Director Susan MacLaury, who will serve as an Executive Producer on the film, said, “We wanted to become involved in this film as soon as we heard the inspirational story of Aisholpan and saw the beautiful and sensitive way Otto was telling her story. We were also immediately struck by the way in which Aisholpan’s journey symbolizes a broader struggle for female equality. Our hope is that by sharing her story with girls and boys around the world, we will contribute to the movement for girls’ and women’s empowerment.”

“Working with the lovely team at Shine Global has been a genuine joy for me,” added Bell.  “It helps that they are a kind, thoughtful and well-connected bunch; but the real reason I think it’s going so well is because my subject matter maps so well to their mission. Indeed, we are both equally determined to produce a profoundly beautiful film that will also serve as an inspiring rallying cry for female empowerment.”

Bell has nearly completed principal photography in the remote Altai Mountains of North Western Mongolia and despite filming in one of the most isolated regions in the world, The Eagle Huntress cuts no corners when it comes to production standards. The majority of the footage has been shot in 4K, capturing sweeping footage of the otherworldly Mongolian landscape. These soaring signature sequences are complemented by grounded character study, which reveals an idiosyncratic slice of life that is rich in intimate moments, natural dialogue, and heartwarming humor.

Shine Global is serving as the film’s fiscal sponsor and is accepting donations to complete its production.

Otto Bell is currently the creative director of Ogilvy Entertainment and founder of Kissaki Films. He has directed over 15 short documentaries as far afield as Egypt, Japan, Uganda, and Vietnam for brands such as IBM, Philips, and DuPont. He has also created and produced award-winning world affairs programming for the likes of BBC World News, CNBC, and Times of India.

About Shine Global
Shine Global is a non-profit film production company dedicated to ending the exploitation and abuse of children worldwide through the production of films that raise awareness, promote action, and inspire change. Shine’s films include the Academy Award®-winning Inocente, the Academy Award®-nominated Emmy winner War/Dance, and most recently, 1 Way Up in 3D.

1 Way Up on Netflix in US, UK, and Canada

1 Way Up on Netflix -TreShine Global’s most recent documentary 1 Way Up is now available to stream on Netflix in the US, UK, and Canada.

From first time director Amy Mathieson, 1 Way Up is the story of Quillan Isidore and Tre Whyte, two teen boys on the road to the BMX World Championships. They hope to escape one of the toughest gang neighborhoods in London with the only thing they have – a bike. Defying the stereotypes of “black boys in hoods” and the media portrayal of Peckham, they race to the top of the BMX ranks and off the streets. The film follows Tre, Quillan, and their coach CK Flash’s preparation, race victories and defeats, and their interactions with family and friends, all leading up to the World Championships.  The film features a pulsating soundtrack of spoken-word and rap vignettes from musicians including UK rap artist Phreeda Sharp plus animated illustrations and archival footage of Peckham’s past.

1 Way Up was released in London theaters in the summer of 2014 with broadcasts following in the UK on MTV UK and in the US on Pivot Tv and was recently nominated for a Screen Nation Award for Independent Spirit Film Production.  The filmmakers are especially proud of the impact the film has had so far on increasing  awareness of the power of sports and spurring investment in youth sports activities in communities.  For example, clips from the film were shown to a local council that was hesitant to build a BMX track  in their borough but, according to the local commissioner, the film convinced them otherwise and they voted to approve the new track which opened in summer 2014 and is open to all youth in the London borough.

The producers at Shine Global also partnered with The LAMP, a NYC non-profit that teaches media literacy to youth, teachers, and parents in NY, to create companion workshops that help youth audiences to creatively delve deeper into the issues presented in the film while learning critical media literacy skills. Organizations, teams, and community groups can license the film to host a screening in their own community – the workshop instructions are included at no extra cost.  To learn more about hosting a screening in your community visit

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