Trapped in the Trade
Written by Jan Edwards
Directed by Jan Edwards, Joshua C Pies
Completion Date: May 2016
I’ve been in the advertising and media industry most of my adult life, making commercials for clients in Phoenix, AZ that were cutting edge for the cable industry and actually won a couple of honorable mentions. A friend who worked at MTV asked me if I wanted to go to LA to write, produce and direct music videos. I weighted it out – make money in sales or be creative…typical life choice – starving artist vs. highly paid corp executive.
At the time it was a no brainer – I knew I was creative but that was going to have to wait. Making money and living ‘the good life’ seemed to be the right path.
Twenty years later, as I matured, like most adults, I began to understand that things are exactly that, things and did not fill the hole in my soul – don’t get me wrong, I like nice things, however, they no longer drive me. I left corporate America and went out on my own. In 2013, I was invited to the UN GetHealth Summit. There I learned about child soldiers and sex trafficking. I was horrified and realized that I’d somehow lived inside the perfect bubble of life, while others around the world suffered.
From attending that summit, I was invited to go to Ethiopia on a medical mission and wow were my eyes opened! The level of poverty was unimaginable and where I learned that Ethiopia was the number one source of human trafficking into the Middle East. I came home, did some research and discovered that hundreds of thousands of children, right here in the US, were being lured into trafficking! After talking with local law enforcement and survivors of trafficking, they what is missing was awareness.
Awareness – that was something I could impact. I wrote Trapped in The Trade to raise awareness and empower people to take action. After doing script testing with the target audience, they were left wanting more – like what happens to Samantha and who’s Mr. B? I was clear that the film was going to make a difference in educating and empowering people and prevent them children from becoming victims.
Trapped in The Trade, takes the audience through the seamless and intentional recruitment of Samantha, a new girl at high school. She’s befriended and romanced into the dark underworld of trafficking. There are moments in the film where she knows something’s not right and yet she allows herself to be swept away in the moment by the attention of James, the handsome basketball star, and the quickly established friendship with Delaney. Trapped in The Trade is a short story of how insidious this life is and how relationships are not always what they seem.
Now that the short is done, there is a feature film in development along with a series. We will finish the story of Samantha, share backstories and show that human resilience and determination can inspire others to make a difference!