The unseen benefits a solar energy installation brings to a sex trafficking rescue in India.
Director: Nicole Watson
Producer: Nicole Watson
About the director and producer: As her directorial debut, “Sustainable Futures: Survivor Girls” is a great achievement for Nicole Watson who is focused on creating impact driven productions. Nicole who’s originally from Vancouver, Canada is now based in Los Angeles and has worked around the world and in the film industry for the past 15 years. Nicole is currently producing a scripted feature film that delves into the underbelly of trafficking in SE Asia.
Looking for: funders for the ongoing docu-series, journalists who would like to speak further on our projects, female directors and renewable energy initiatives, distributors & festival directors who would like to screen our film at their festivals.
Made in association with: econic earth foundation, Sanlaap North America, Terra Global Solutions, Pathak Charitable Trust
Release date: 2017
Congratulations! Why did you make a film called SUSTAI?
We wanted to document the unseen benefits of solar energy on the trafficking rescue organization and touch on both clean energy alternatives and the issue of child trafficking. The film is first in the ‘Sustainable Futures’ short doc series and we are working up to a complete travel series.
Imagine I’m a member of the audience. Why should I watch this film?
You should watch this film to be inspired and to learn more about global issues. You will walk away from it knowing matters that humanity is facing and how small microcosms of work by individuals can benefit the lives of many.
How do personal and universal themes work in your film?
Our film deals with young women and survivors of trafficking overcoming trauma to restore their lives, juxtaposed to the solar energy and water filtration system that brings sustained electricity and clean water so the girls have greater consistencies in their growth into a mainstream, safe life.
How have the script and film evolved over the course of their development and production?
The film was meant to be shot in 1 month and it took 9 months to film and 12 months overall from start to finish. We had a few bumps along the way but nothing the team couldn’t handle. I’d researched many trafficking films that dealt with the horrors of the issue and when I came to the Sanlaap shelter and met the hardworking staff, teachers and assistants I knew I had to feature the positive elements the organization was doing to rehabilitate all these young women so they could enter back into mainstream society with skills to get jobs and knowledge and support on how to protect themselves.
I developed my questions and also organically decided on what to film as our team spent more time at the shelter. Shubham Kasera our DP was a great help in India and I must give great thanks to Larissa Brantner James our editor based in LA who assisted in the overall post production phase of the film. We brought in story producers who volunteered their time to give us great input which helped us structure the story and script.
What type of feedback have you received so far?
We’ve received a lot of positive feedback from people thanking us for showing a hopeful side to trafficking survivor stories. We’ve been asked about the solar installations and if they can apply to have this at other non-profits, as well as total cost of the solar installation. Everyone involved is very proud to be a part of the film.
Has the feedback surprised or challenged your point of view?
I have been overjoyed with the feedback and the surprise on many of my friends faces when they said, “Wow Nicole, you did this!!”.
What are you looking to achieve by having your film more visible on www.wearemovingstories.com?
We would like to develop “Sustainable Futures” an impact driven documentary series and have a platform to feature this short documentary film as well as draw attention to our next project covering a wildlife issue and implementation of a portable solar installation for the scientists and volunteers.
Ideally we’d like further funding for the series, sponsorship from solar and renewable energy developers, and greater awareness and how we can all do our part to contribute to positive change.
Who do you need to come on board (producers, sales agents, buyers, distributors, film festival directors, journalists) to amplify this film’s message?
Journalists would be great. The more people hearing about, and reading about our film the better. Also film festival directors who can give us a platform to share our film and speak about the project.
What type of impact and/or reception would you like this film to have?
We would like this film to inspire people that feel they have no voice or ability to create positive change, because we do. We would also like introductions to solar energy developers to collaborate with.
What’s a key question that will help spark a debate or begin a conversation about this film?
How can consistent energy make a difference in a girls life?
How traumatic is it for a sex trafficking survivor to sit in darkness, without light at the shelter for 2-3 days at a time?
Would you like to add anything else?
I am currently working with another team on a scripted thriller/drama feature film titled “Unbound” that we are in the process of raising additional capital for. The film deals with one woman’s journey after she’s kidnapped and forced into sex slavery, escapes with her life and recruits an X mercenary to help her get revenge on those responsible through which she uncovers a far reaching conspiracy. We are planning to film late this year in SE Asia.
We Are Moving Stories embraces new voices in drama, documentary, animation, TV, web series and music video. If you have just made a film - we'd love to hear from you. Or if you know a filmmaker - can you recommend us? More info: Carmela