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THE NEW ABOLITIONISTS Documentary to Compete at the 11th Bridges International Film Festival

From December 11 - 25.

THE NEW ABOLITIONISTS Documentary to Compete at the 11th Bridges International Film Festival

"The New Abolitionists," a documentary by actress/producer Christina Zorich, tracks her journey as she follows committed abolitionists throughout Southeast Asia as they attempt to affect change and put an end to human sex trafficking. The film will screen as part of the 11th Bridges International Film Festival. Due to coronavirus pandemic call for social distancing, in 2020, the 11th Bridges International Film Festival at Loutraki, Corinthia, Greece is scheduled to hold online screenings in addition to the live screenings and events.

In the course of the film, Zorich tracks the trajectories of the Christian ministries and NGO's (non-government organizations) who save children and teens entrapped and enslaved in the sex trade throughout Cambodia and Thailand. They educated her on the causes and conditions that led to the blossoming of this criminal industry, the government's complicity, and the structure they used to solve the problem: Rescue, Rehabilitation, Prosecution and Prevention. Heartbreaking stories ensue of young people of both sexes, many betrayed by close family members who sell them off to traffickers for financial gain. The programs that many of these organizations offer help these victims gain financial freedom and self esteem through vocational training in a safe and loving space. Because of the danger involved, some of the people Zorich met along with way could not get involved with the film as the exposure would undercut their visas and ability to safely do their renegade work.

The film was a long journey for Zorich. She made 2 trips to the region, the first in 2015, where she laid the groundwork for a longer shoot, meeting the people involved in these rescues. She utilized the footage from the first trip to hone the film she would eventually make- testing the footage with focus groups and took an online course with documentarian Darren Wilson. She returned to the region a year later, shot 600 hours of footage and spent the next 3 years editing her film.

"With this film," says Zorich, "I set out to not only expose the causations of trafficking, but to reveal practical solutions. My hope is that learning from these brave abolitionists will inspire others to join the fight in whatever way they can."

Zorich Directed and Produced the film. Landon Satterfield served as the film's Story Editor as well as Co-Editor with Zorich. The pair worked together over a period of 3 years shaping the story. Zorich's mother, Academy Award winning actress Olympia Dukakis, came on as a producer during post production, to help complete the film.

The Bridges International Film Festival of Peloponnese is awarded the EFFE Label which is Europe's quality stamp for remarkable arts festivals showing their engagement in the arts, community involvement and international openness. The Bridges International Film Festival is under the auspices of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism and the Prefecture of Peloponnese. The program includes 90 feature and short films of different genres of recent production from all over the world in 12 categories of competition.

The 11th Bridges International Film Festival kicks off its online program, beginning December 11th and ending December 25th. On Christmas Day, December 25, the Festival will offer an all- day online screening of all short films. Also, on Christmas Day, the Golden Pegasus Awards Ceremony will take place with a special artistic show, beginning at 8 PM, Greek time, airing live on Zoom and on the Bridges Festival Facebook page. The screening schedule of the films in a venue in the Corinthia area will be announced after the government's announcement of the protocols for social distancing due to Covid-19.

There will be a special online screening of the film, with a Q&A featuring the filmmakers after, onSunday, December 20th, 20:00 Athens, Greece (GMT+3)/ 18:00 London/ 13:00 New York/ 10:00 Los Angeles.



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