There’s been plenty happening here at ‘The Human, Earth Project’.
I have some exciting news for you today about the ‘Sisters for Sale’ documentary, book, and what we’re looking forward to in 2024!
The ‘Sisters for Sale’ documentary
Our multi-award-winning ‘Sisters for Sale’ documentary is now available to watch online in eight languages!
Before the pandemic shut down the world’s film festivals, ‘Sisters for Sale’ was translated into numerous Asian and European languages.
Unfortunately, many of those translations never had a chance to screen at festivals – and when the festivals were cancelled, our focus shifted to the ‘Sisters for Sale’ books.
We’ve now made many of those translations available to watch online – namely Chinese, French, German, Hmong, Italian, Malaysian, and Spanish, as well as the original English. (Click each name to see the ‘Sisters for Sale’ trailer in that language!)
Other translations, including Vietnamese, are yet to come.
You can watch ‘Sisters for Sale’ now at https://vimeo.com/ondemand/sistersforsale – when the documentary starts, select the “CC” icon from the bottom of the screen to select your language!
The ‘Sisters for Sale’ book
The ‘Sisters for Sale’ book took five years to write and edit.
It was a particularly challenging story to write, given the complexity of the story itself and of the cultural issues involved.
I’m very proud of the results. Not only is it the definitive version of the ‘Sisters for Sale’ story, I believe it encapsulates the complex realities of human trafficking better than any other book or film I’ve ever seen.
Having worked in this industry for over a decade, I’ve read, seen, and heard plenty of human trafficking stories, but nothing like this – I’m sure you’ll agree.
We’ve had a great response to the book so far, following its November launch. For those of you who are only familiar with the ‘Sisters for Sale’ documentary, you’ll be surprised how much more there is to the story.
Every sale of the ‘Sisters for Sale’ book helps us continue our fight against human trafficking. To learn more and support our work, you can order your copy now at store.sistersforsale.com
‘Sisters for Sale’ in 2024
Some of you have asked what our next steps will be, now that the ‘Sisters for Sale’ book has launched.
There are two things we’ll be focusing on in 2024…
The first thing is finding new channels to promote the ‘Sisters for Sale’ book, to bring it to new audiences.
This is more challenging than it might sound. My talent is in storytelling, and creating high-quality media (whether book or documentary). I don’t enjoy promotion, and I’m not especially good at it.
Since the pandemic, our team has been smaller, and we’ve had less funds available to work with. Despite these restrictions, we’re still doing what we can, because it’s important work. Your support is appreciated, and makes a difference.
The second thing we’re now focusing on is a lot more fun: a fictionalised adaptation of the ‘Sisters for Sale’ story.
I was first approached nine years ago by a film industry professional who was interested to adapt the ‘Sisters for Sale’ story as a feature film.
I began developing a script, to see how the story might fit together. Given its complexity, it was necessary to simplify characters and events, so it would be “based on a true story”, rather than being a strictly accurate version of events.
At that time I wasn’t entirely comfortable with the idea of fictionalising the story, but I’ve come to see its potential.
My kidnapped friends May and Pang are delightful, and often hilarious, people – but so many of the things they said and did before their abductions from Sapa were never recorded in any form.
Given the artistic licence to recreate their words and actions, I can recreate the personalities and atmosphere that made me feel so at home in Sapa. I can show what wonderful people May and Pang are, and can better explain the friendships which formed the basis for the incredible story that followed.
A fictionalised version story can take a completely different tone to everything we’ve produced so far. A lot of it can be fun, and funny, which allows for a much wider emotional range and helps to balance out the darker elements of the story.
In recent years, we’ve been hosting more events with schools and universities. The idea was raised of creating a fictionalised version of the ‘Sisters for Sale’ story as a graphic novel targeted towards high-school students.
Graphic novels are essentially longer, standalone comic books. They can cover many different styles and subjects, and can appear in colour or black-and-white. They’ve become increasingly popular in recent years, particularly among younger people.
While I love the idea of creating a graphic novel, it will be a huge and challenging job – both to complete the script, and to work with an illustrator to bring it to life.
To cover the expenses involved, we’ll first need to find people to help organise a fundraising campaign, our first in five years. What we’re able to achieve with the graphic novel will depend largely on the campaign’s success.
Stay tuned for more news – and if you’re interested to be part of our work in 2024, reach out and let me know!