Vote for our SxSW 2016 Panel Proposal “The Long Term Impact of the Sexy Story”

Anybody and everybody can vote for Shine Global’s proposed panel “The Long Term Impact of the Sexy Story” to be a part of the 2016 SxSW film festival in Austin, TX this coming March.

Vote here before September 4, 2015:

The Long Term Impact of the Sexy Story

Sex sells. If it bleeds it leads. This reality means that stories like “starving sex trafficked war orphans in Africa…with AIDS” bombard us daily. 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. Our panel brings together storytellers who’ve worked on controversial topics with vulnerable people and explore ways that creatives can approach ethical issues in narrative in a way that produces a compelling story, yet involves subjects in safe and respectful ways.

Questions Answered

  1. How does our appetite for sensational stories have a real world impact on subjects as well as viewers/consumers of stories?
  2. How can filmmakers guarantee subjects’ informed consent and why does this matter?
  3. Do the ends of obtaining compelling footage ever justify the sacrifice of informed consent by subjects?


  • Lina Srivistava, Regarding Humanity
  • Susan MacLaury, Shine Global Inc
  • Josie Swantek, Run Riot Films
  • Linda Raftree, Regarding Humanity


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.