Successful Kickstarter Campaign

SOD Funded with Kickstarter

Thanks to 238 backers, we raised 101% of our $50,000 Kickstarter goal! We had enough donations to activate a portion of a challenge grant to be pledged towards the campaign and additional donations outside of Kickstarter.

We are awed by how many people demonstrated support for Selling Our Daughters. Many of the donors are unknown to us and others have supported Shine’s films again and again over the years. We are so lucky to have them all.

Our team is hard at work finishing the film and we hope to have it done in time for a Spring 2016 festival premiere.

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.


Shine’s Latest Doc a Finalist for Prestigious San Francisco Film Society Grant

Selling Our Daughters - temp still of FonShine Global’s upcoming documentary Selling Our Daughters is one of the 11 finalists for the 2015 SFFS Documentary Film Fund awards.  The fund, totaling more than $75,000 for 2015, was created to support singular nonfiction film work that is distinguished by compelling stories, intriguing characters and an innovative visual approach. Finalists were selected from more than 300 applications, and winners will be announced in early April.

Selling Our Daughters explores the dark side of child advocacy. It unfolds as a mystery as the film follows three Thai girls whose parents have allegedly sold them into sex work, only to discover that this story is a lie fabricated by the advocate who supposedly rescued them.  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.

The SFFS Documentary Film Fund has an excellent track record for championing compelling films that have gone on to earn great acclaim. Previous DFF winners include Zachary Heinzerling’s Cutie and the Boxer, which won Sundance’s Directing Award for documentary, was distributed theatrically by RADiUS-TWC and was nominated for the 2014 Academy Award® for Best Documentary Feature; Joe Brewster and Michèle Stephenson’s American Promise, which premiered at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival and won the festival’s Special Jury Prize in the documentary category; and Shaul Schwarz’s Narco Cultura, which premiered to strong reviews at Sundance the same year.

“The quality of the work we saw in this round of applicants for the Documentary Film Fund is inspiring, and it was extremely difficult narrowing the field to 11 considering that so many of the projects we reviewed are absolutely deserving of funding,” said Michele-Turnure Salleo, director of Filmmaker360. “The diversity of subjects in this group of finalists, and the creativity displayed in their approaches to visual storytelling, reflects the impressive strength of the work that was submitted this year. Not only do these projects tackle extremely relevant contemporary topics, but they also employ innovative aesthetic styles and remarkable cinematic approaches that caught the attention of the reviewers. We simply can’t wait to see these finished films, and we look forward to their premieres in the months to come.”

To read more and see the full list of finalists, click here.

Shine Global Receives National Endowment for the Arts Grant


National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Acting Chairman Joan Shigekawa announced today that Shine Global is one of the nonprofit organizations nationwide to receive an NEA Art Works grant. Shine Global is recommended for a $70,000 grant to support the post production of our documentary film Selling Our Daughters.

Produced by Shine’s Susan MacLaury and co-directed by Josie Swantek and Dave Adams of Run Riot Films, Selling Our Daughters documents the exploitation of young girls in Thailand from the perspective of the girls themselves, their parents, a trafficker, and the organization founded to help them.  Principal photography has been completed and the NEA grant will support aspects of post-production.

NEA Acting Chairman Shigekawa said, “The NEA is pleased to announce that Shine Global is recommended for an NEA Art Works grant. These NEA-supported projects will not only have a positive impact on local economies, but will also provide opportunities for people of all ages to participate in the arts, help our communities to become more vibrant, and support our nation’s artists as they contribute to our cultural landscape.”

Shine’s Executive Director Susan MacLaury said “We are thrilled to be recommended for this prestigious grant to support our work making documentary films aimed at ending the exploitation and abuse of children worldwide through the production of films and other media that raise awareness, promote action and inspire change.”  Shine Global’s films include the 2013 Academy Award®-winning short documentary Inocente, The Harvest (La Cosecha) with Executive Producer Eva Longoria about child labor in the US, and the Academy Award®-nominated and Emmy Award®-winning War/Dance.

Shine Global deeply believes that social issue filmmaking inspires positive change for numerous societal challenges. For each film, Shine creates a tailored outreach and engagement campaign, develops and distributes free downloadable curriculum for teachers that expands the films’ educational impact, and screens its films for policy makers and influencers in support of policy change. Shine believes that the value of the arts to education and social change is intrinsic and exponential over time. Students learning in this way are engaged socially, emotionally, and intellectually, and develop into socially minded leaders of society.

Art Works grants support the creation of art that meets the highest standards of excellence, public engagement with diverse and excellent art, lifelong learning in the arts, and enhancement of the livability of communities through the arts.  The NEA received 1,515 eligible applications under the Art Works category and recommended grants totaling $25.8 million.

To support Shine Global’s work, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution today.