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Thursday, September 7, 2017

"Stopping Traffic: The Movement to End Sex Trafficking" -- Jain Monk Utilizes Kickstarter to Start a Movement to End Modern-Day Slavery

"Stopping Traffic: The Movement to End Sex Trafficking"

Jain Monk Utilizes Kickstarter to Start a Movement to End Modern-Day Slavery and Shares Her Own Story in Raw & Powerful Documentary

27 Million People are Being Exploited Around the Globe, Half of Them Children, in World’s 2nd Largest Criminal Activity

In Theaters Sept. 29th in 10 Cities Across the Country; January VOD Release

Planned for National Human Trafficking Awareness Month

WINDOM, Texas — Sept. 7, 2017— For Immediate Release — With the instant reach of social media and the explosion in cyber porn, a child sex slave can be purchased online and delivered to a customer more quickly than a pizza. Stopping Traffic: The Movement to End Sex Trafficking initiates the conversation on a difficult topic to discuss – with raw images of life on the streets, heart-pounding rescues and gut-wrenching, personal stories – ultimately offering a story of hope and empowerment, with the goal of engaging others in launching a movement to end this modern-day form of slavery and abuse in the U.S. and abroad.

A four-year-old child’s arms are cut off to make him a more sympathetic beggar when his captors set him alongside the road …girls as young as one are used as pawns in cyber porn … young girls are groomed as  prostitutes by “lovers,” many abducted from their homes and taken far away to be held as sex slaves … parents sell or are tricked into giving up their children … an activist recalls the horrors of being trafficked during her own youth … a reformed trafficker reveals his deepest regrets and recalls his own sexual abuse as a child … These are the stories of Stopping Traffic.

Stopping Traffic  marks the feature film debut of  producer/director  Sadhvi Siddhali Shree, a Jain monk, U.S. Army veteran (serving six years, including 16 months as a combat medic in the ambulance platoon in Iraq, reaching the rank of Sergeant), international speaker, author, passionate activist for social justice … and victim of childhood sexual abuse.

Having taken a vow of monkhood, the Los Angeles native and Cal State graduate (now Spiritual Director of the Siddhayatan Tirth ashrams in Windom, Texas and Riverside, Calif.) embarked on a Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign and enlisted the volunteer time of dozens of supporters in order to bring her vision and mission to life in this raw and powerful documentary.

Shot in the U.S. (Houston, Los Angeles, New Orleans), Iraq, Mexico, the Philippines and Vietnam – Shree’s slight stature and white robe cutting a stark image in the dark and threatening alleyways of the film – Stopping Traffic takes an unflinching, first- hand look at this shadowy underworld, telling the shocking story through the eyes of survivors, reformed traffickers, veteran activists, front-line rescue/aid organizations and celebrities who are lending their clout to the cause, including Dolph Lundgren (The Expendables), Jeannie Mai (co-host, The Real) and Kristen Renton (Sons of Anarchy).

In theaters Sept. 29, the film will enjoy a one-week run in … Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New Orleans, New York City, San Diego and Washington, D.C. Stopping Traffic will also be released in January on VOD, during National Trafficking Awareness Month.

More about Stopping Traffic … 
With 27 million victims, human trafficking is the second largest criminal enterprise in the world, predominantly victimizing women, with children making up as much as half the statistics … But it’s not just a back-alley enterprise in Asia and other underdeveloped regions of the world, it’s also prevalent in industrial nations and – in conflict with closely held beliefs about our society in the United States – right here in our own backyard. 

Prevailing across every culture and at all socio-economic strata, the U.S. – with its affluence, technological sophistication and robust tourism industry – is the greatest source of customers. Sex trafficking has occurred in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, with the highest incidence rates in California, Texas, Florida, Ohio and New York. The most popular event for scoring a trafficking arrangement?  The Super Bowl. 

All proceeds from the film will fund trafficking awareness campaigns; a private, U.S.-based rescue team (headed by “The Rescue Guy” in the film, an ex-military man who needs to preserve his anonymity), which operates domestically and abroad and has helped thousands of victims within the last decade; and help support three shelters for victims: Eden House in New Orleans, Fundación Camino a Casa in Mexico City and Visayan Forum in Manila, Philippines.

Stopping Traffic won Best Picture and the Grand Jury Prize, 2017 Global Cinema Film Festival of Boston; Best Domestic Documentary, 2017 Fort Worth Indie Film Showcase; Bronze Palm Award, 2017 Mexico International Film Festival; Remi Winner,  2017 Worldfest-Houston International Film Festival;  Best Educational  Film,  2017 Alaska   International  Film Awards; Award of Merit, 2017 Accolade Global Film Competition; and was an Official Selection at the 2017 Long Beach Indie International Film Festival,  2017 Show Me Justice Film Festival and the 2017 Mzansi Women’s Film Festival.

Theater locations:
 Atlanta: AMC Parkway Pointe 15, 3101 Cobb Parkway, #201, Atlanta
 Chicago: AMC River East 21, 322 E. Illinois St., Chicago
 Dallas: AMC Valley View 16, 13331 Preston Road, #2300, Dallas
 Houston: AMC Studio 30, 2949 Dunvale, Houston
 Los Angeles: Laemmle Monica Film Center, 1332 2nd St., Santa Monica
 Miami: AMC Sunset Place 24, 5701 Sunset Dr., #300, South Miami
 New Orleans: AMC Elmwood Palace 20, 1200 Elmwood Park Blvd., Harahan
 New York City: Cinema Village, 22 E. 12th St., New York City
 San Diego: AMC Mission Valley 20, 1640 Camino Del Rio, North, San Diego
 Washington, D.C: AMC Hoffman Center 22, 206 Swamp Fox Road, Alexandria, Va.

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