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Global Anti-Slavery Organization Partners to Fund Freedom with Canadian-made Film She Has a Name
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Light the Fire Again

By Nigel Garnaitis



Every year, millions of vulnerable children and women are trafficked for sex around the world. According to the International Labour Organization, there are approximately two million children exploited in the global commercial sex trade at this very moment. Sadly, only one percent of these children are every released.

These despairing realities motivated Andrew Kooman to take action. An experienced playwright, Kooman wrote the play She Has a Name to transform the sex trade’s paralyzing statistics into a powerful story based on actual events. It tells the story of a vulnerable young girl trapped in the Thai sex trafficking industry. The critically-acclaimed play originally premiered in Calgary, and later toured the country.

She Has a Name has now been turned into a feature-length film. Produced by Kooman’s brothers (Matthew and Daniel Kooman), the film has a loaded cast, including Vancouver-based theatre actor Giovanni Mocibob, Will Yun Lee (The Wolverine, Hawaii Five-0), and Eugenia Yuan (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: Sword of Destiny; Memoirs of a Geisha). It is also entirely Canadian-made, and was shot in Thailand at locations where sex trafficking actually takes place.

On November 7, International Justice Mission (IJM) Canada hosted an exclusive pre-screening of the film at London’s own Western Film. Ever since Kooman began writing the play he has partnered with IJM in order to both spread awareness of the reality of global sex trafficking and to point people to an organization that is on the front lines of combating its evils.

The film accurately depicts how dark and hopeless the world of sex trafficking is, both for those within it and those struggling against it. It is easy to despair when faced with the rampant, unabashed, and relentless violence the poor are subjected to. Fortunately, IJM works tirelessly to bring justice to victims of trafficking, from initial rescue to immediate aftercare. As one of the world’s leading anti-slavery organizations, they have managed to powerfully transform entire cities through their work. For example, after four years of an IJM project in Cebu, Philippines, an independent organization reported 79 percent fewer minors being sold for sex than four years previous. As IJM states, when laws are enforced, the violence stops. You can learn more about IJM’s work (and how to support it) at their website, ijm.ca.

Kooman, who now lives in London, wanted She Has a Name to support the efforts of organizations like IJM in combating the victims of global sex trafficking. To do so, the film will be distributed with an innovative distribution model. When you purchase or rent the film, portions of the proceeds will go to these organizations. For example, 20 percent of gross sales on all rentals and Blu-ray/DVD combos that are generated directly through IJM Canada’s network will be given to fund their work to rescue and restore victims of human trafficking. By supporting this film, you can “fund freedom.”

She Has a Name will be released globally on December 2. You can check out the film’s website (shehasanamefilm.com) to find out how you can get your own copy, or see it in one of the select theatres it will premiere in across Canada.



If you are interested in purchasing the film and supporting IJM, you can buy the film at shehasanamefilm.com/ijmcanada. You can also host your own screening of the film to bring awareness to the plight of the millions of people trapped in the sex trafficking industry.