Sister Simone Campbell, SSS will be the presenter at BACAR’s 21st Gathering at Notre Dame High School in Belmont, CA. On Saturday September 21, 2019 from 9 AM to 3 PM Sister Simone will share her insights on building communities of justice in these uncertain times. To Register
BACAR Sponsors Movie I Am Still Here
Two screenings of the award winning independent film about the atrocities of child sex trafficking entitled, I Am Still Here were offered in Santa Clara County. St. Mary’s, Los Gatos and Los Altos United Methodist Church were hosts to the Human Trafficking Film Screening
On Saturday, January 26, viewers not only watched the full length feature but were able to meet the writer/director, Mischa Marcus and producer, Stephanie Bell from Los Angeles. Both were on hand to introduce the film.The second screening was on January 27, at the Los Altos United Methodist Church. LAUMC. Both nights drew engaging audiences
‘I Am Still Here’ is the story of 10-year old Layla, who was stolen from her family and thrown into America’s child sex industry. Stories of courage drawn from interviews with trafficking survivors are the foundation for the fictionalized account of Layla’s journey as she confronts the monsters of her past and embraces the hope of her future.
After the showing there was a quiet time of reflection led by Sister Marilyn Wilson, BVM followed by the Q&A with Mischa and Stephanie.
The two film screenings were sponsored by several organizations including the Diocese of San Jose, St. Mary’s Parish, the Daughters of Charity, the BVM Sisters, the Catholic Network to End Human Trafficking, the Bay Area Conference of Associates and Religious, (BACAR), the LAUMC, and STOP Stop Trafficking On the Planet from the United Federated Church of Saratoga.
When asked how she became interested in the subject of human trafficking Marcus said, “During my freshman year in college, a brothel housing child sex slaves was busted in a neighborhood close to mine. Hearing this shook me to my core. I was raised to believe I live in our ‘Land of the Free,’ but that day, I discovered slavery, even of children, is still a very real problem.”
Marcus was studying screen writing at the time at Chapman College in Orange County, California. She asked her professor about how to find more information to tackle this subject matter and he said “figure it out for yourself.” And that she did. It took Marcus seven years to bring the film to the screen from exhaustive research of real sex trafficking cases to post production process.
“Before starting the film I conducted 20 interviews with actual sex trafficking survivors from ages 11 to 32,” said Marcus. The resulting film, which follows a 10-year old girl from her abduction in a neighborhood park through seven years of horror in captivity, is an amalgamation of the stories of each of these victims.
The film has been presented in 59 film festivals where it has won over 50 awards including 11 for best feature film. Marcus, who also won an award for Best Director, is proudest of winning Best Feature at the Nice International Festival in France.
Written by Terry Jelley CNEHT member and Kathy Noether, Notre Dame de Namur Associate