This week’s Kelleher International blog is by CEO Amber Kelleher-Andrews.
Two years ago, I learned about Love Sonia, a film in development that was shining a light of awareness on the dark world of sex trafficking. What I learned about trafficking and our youth hit me in the core. I was immediately drawn and inspired to get involved and lend what efforts I could give to help produce this important film. Since then, I’ve been honored to help fund and promote Love Sonia which is now in the running for a Golden Globe nomination.
Inspired by real-life events, Love Sonia is the story of a young girl’s journey to find her big sister, whom unbeknownst to her has been sold by their father (a starving Indian farmer) into the dangerous world of international sex trafficking.
Sex trafficking is a form of modern slavery that exists throughout the world. Globally, the International Labor Organization estimates that there are 4.5 million people trapped in forced sexual exploitation. According to the Polaris Project, a leader in the global fight to eradicate modern slavery, victims of sex trafficking can be U.S. citizens, foreign nationals, women, men, children, and LGBTQ individuals.
As in most instances of abuse, vulnerable populations are frequently targeted by traffickers, including runaway and homeless youth, as well as victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, war, or social discrimination.
Sex trafficking is not worlds away but exists behind many masks right here locally; from fake massage businesses, online ads or escort services, to residential brothels globally. It exists in all cosmopolitan cities, truck stops, hotels and motels and even secretly in parties that we have likely attended.
Love Sonia is the shocking true story of a young Indian village girl whose life irrevocably changed when she gets entrapped in the global sex trade while trying to save the one person whom she is closest. Sonia’s challenging journey spans three continents, landing her far from home with a fragile dream but a life worth living and fighting for.
Love Sonia Cast:
Freida Pinto (Slumdog Millionaire), Richa Chadda (Masaan), Manoj Bajpai (Gangs of R
Wasseypur), Anupam Kher (Silver Linings Playbook, The Big Sick), Adil Hussain (Life of Pi), Rajkummar Rao (Queen), Sunny Pawar (Lion) with Demi Moore & Mark Duplass; introducing Mrunal Thakur as Sonia.
Love Sonia Director:
Tabrez Noorani (Slumdog Millionaire / India producer) ;
Love Sonia Producer:
David Womark (Life of Pi / Academy-Award nominated producer)
Love Sonia was recently released in India on September 14, 2018. I hope you’ll watch the Love Sonia trailer and support this Indian and American film collaboration.
You can help raise awareness of modern slavery and international sex trafficking by sharing Love Sonia on your social channels and by sharing Sonia’s story in conversation with your friends and family.
Love Sonia on FB + Twitter + Instagram: @LoveSoniaMovie
Love Sonia Movie Hashtags: #AgainstAllOdds | #LoveSoniaTrailer
These unimaginable abuses of rights and humanity aren’t isolated to other countries. It is big business right here in the United States. In a 2014 report, the Urban Institute estimated that the underground sex economy ranged from $39.9 million in Denver, Colorado, to $290 million in Atlanta, Georgia.
Knowing the problem exists is the first step to creating change.
I hope you’ll join me.