UPDATED with trailer and release date: Freestyle Digital Media has released the first trailer and set an April 11 release date for The New Abolitionists, a documentary about the movement to end sex trafficking in Southeast Asia, directed by Christina Zorich and produced by her mother, the late Olympia Dukakis. Check out the trailer above and a clip and the new poster below.
PREVIOUS EXCLUSIVE: The pic premiered October 21 in Santa Monica as part of Kat Kramer’s Films That Change the World, an international cinema series that showcases motion pictures and documentaries raising awareness of important social issues. The premiere kicked off a week-long Oscar-qualifying run for The New Abolitionists at Laemmle Monica, with all ticket proceeds going to anti-trafficking organizations featured in the documentary.
In The New Abolitionists, “Zorich journeys to Southeast Asia to investigate why and how sex trafficking flourishes in the ‘most trafficked’ region of the globe,” according to a release about the documentary. “She follows four Christian ministries and NGOs fighting this criminal industry, to probe the issues behind it while creating a platform for the victims and their allies to speak for themselves, illuminate the problems, and generate solutions… Survivors and their allies share their individual stories and why they have chosen to dedicate their lives to rescue, rehabilitation, and prevention.”
The film is the result of a seven-year odyssey by Zorich to document the abolitionists fighting to ending sex trafficking in Cambodia, Thailand and elsewhere. [Watch an exclusive clip below].
“With this film, I set out to not only expose the causations of trafficking, but to reveal practical solutions,” Zorich said in a statement. “My hope is that learning from these brave abolitionists will inspire others to join the fight in whatever way they can.”
The New Abolitionists is one of the final credits in the extraordinary career of Dukakis, the Oscar-winning star of Moonstruck, who died in May 2021 at the age of 89. Freestyle Digital Media, an arm of Byron Allen’s media and entertainment empire, plans to release the documentary in early 2023.
After tonight’s premiere, Kramer will moderate a panel discussion with Zorich, as well as cast, crew and anti-trafficking experts including Annie Dieselberg, CEO and founder of Night Light International; Cory Nickols, Destiny Rescue USA’s senior director of strategic partnerships; Landon Satterfield, The New Abolitionists editor/story consultant; Craig Martin, filmmaker/TV producer, and Jason Page, a pioneering activist against human trafficking.
Kramer, daughter of legendary director-producer Stanley Kramer, will soon launch the #SHEroesForChange Film Festival, where she will host documentaries focusing on women’s empowerment issues, primarily made by female filmmakers.
The New Abolitionists is directed by Christina Zorich; Zorich also serves as executive producer. Producers are Susannah Barnes and Olympic Dukakis. The writers are Zorich, Laura Spaeth, Landon Satterfield, and Andrea Valentine.
In the clip below, women with the charity Shine Cambodia encourage at-risk girls to appreciate their value as human beings.
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