Friday, December 14, 2007

Human Trafficking Film: Holly

From the Press Telegram:

In March 2002, Guy Jacobson, on vacation near Phnom Penh, Cambodia, was surrounded by 15 girls, aggressively soliciting him for prostitution. One 5-year-old girl told Jacobson, "I yum yum very good." She begged Jacobson for money and said the madam of her brothel would beat her if she returned empty-handed. Jacobson gave the girl $20, and she left. But Jacobson didn't forget. That encounter is recreated word for word in the new independent film "Holly," about a 12-year-old Vietnamese girl who has been sold by her impoverished family and smuggled into Cambodia where she is forced to work as a prostitute.

"When I realized how much of a global problem it is, a light bulb went off and I decided to write a movie about it," said Jacobson. The numbers are huge and reach into all countries. Every year, more than 1 million children, women and men around the world are sold into sexual slavery, according to UNICEF.

View the trailer

"Holly" was shot on location in Cambodia, including several scenes in actual brothels and Phnom Penh's infamous Svay Pak, also known as K 11 (it's 11 kilometers from Phnom Penh). For years, that notorious red-light village has been the premiere destination for thousands of child molesters and sex tourists coming to Cambodia to prey on children, some as young as 5 years old, for as little as $5.

View interviews with the actors, director and film crew

The 190-day production schedule for "Holly" began in January 2005, and it seemed like no one in Cambodia wanted "Holly" made.

Less than 12 hours before the first day of shooting, director Guy Moshe - with an armed bodyguard - sat in a hotel lobby counting $60,000 in cash to a local gangster - also with an armed bodyguard - to secure the release of the film's sound equipment.

During filming in and around the K 11, which is reported to be owned by the Vietnamese mafia, the cast and crew worked under heavy protection from guards armed with AK-47s.

Moshe, 33, says he knew ahead of time filming would be difficult and potentially dangerous, but "I went out and did it anyway. It was a job that had to get done." No one was hurt during production, he says.

Read the full article

Through the eyes of actor Ron Livingston, who plays a down and out good-hearted poker player, Holly effectively portrays the depravity of sex trafficking and the twisted system in which it operates.

*Visit the
Priority Films website for more information on Holly

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous2:52 AM

    Thank you. Too many people ignore or have all sorts of excuses why they can say there is no problem with sex trafficking.

    This movie did a great job explaining the brainwashing and the social stigma that these young children have to endure.