We have launched a Kickstarter campaign to help finish Shine’s latest film Selling Our Daughters. Check out the video and pledge to support!

Selling Our Daughters explores the dark side of child advocacy through the story of an “activist” who misrepresents Thai girls as sex trafficking victims for his own gain.

The film unfolds as a mystery, revealed to viewers through the eyes of the filmmakers as they themselves discover it.  In 2013 we went to northern Thailand to film a story about girls who had been sold into the sex trade by their parents. Our guide was activist Mickey Choothesa. What we discovered instead is that Mickey has been deceiving both the public and those he claims to be helping. Since founding his non-profit organization, COSA, in 2005, Mickey has marketed it globally as a sanctuary for trafficked and at-risk girls while describing it to the girls it houses and their families only as a unique educational opportunity.

Watch the Kickstarter video with Directors Josie Swantek Heitz and Dave Adams to learn more about the film and why we need your help to finish it — then make a pledge!

Why we are making this film

Sensational and dramatic storytelling gets ratings, attracts an audience, and helps secure funding but it has a real world, negative impact on those we are (mis)representing. Power dynamics between storytellers, promoters, audiences, and subjects raise difficult ethical questions we face everyday as filmmakers. So when we became entangled in the deception Mickey was perpetrating, we knew we had to keep our promise to the girls and their families to share their story with the world.

Why on Kickstarter?

Thanks to the generosity of many individual donors and foundations including the National Endowment for the Arts, the Fledgling Fund, the Irving Harris Foundation, and Greystone Co., we have been able to complete the shooting and editing of the film. We are seeking $50,000 to help us finish it so we can premiere at festivals and bring the film to audiences around the world in 2016. We need to hire a composer to do the music, a sound designer to do the sound mix, and do color correction, HD mastering, and output the final film onto formats that we can play for audiences. We are so close to finishing this film but we need you to help bring this story to the world!