SOLD is a powerful story about human trafficking that hopes to build a significant global, commercial and political movement. Startup/business
SOLD tells the heartbreaking story of 13-year-old Lakshmi who lives in a village in the Himalayan Mountains of Nepal, going to school and working hard to tend her family’s rice paddies. Her family is desperately poor, but her life is full of simple pleasures, like raising her black-and-white speckled goat, and having her mother brush her hair by the light of an oil lamp. When her family loses the little it has in a monsoon, Lakshmi’s step-father introduces her to a glamorous woman that tells Lakshmi she will take her to work as a maid for a wealthy woman in the big city. Glad to be able to help, Lakshmi undertakes the long journey to India and arrives at “Happiness House” full of hope. Soon, she learns the unthinkable truth: she has been sold into prostitution.
An old woman named Mumtaz rules the brothel with cruelty and cunning. She tells Lakshmi that she is trapped there until she can pay off her family’s debt, then cheats Lakshmi of her meager earnings so that she can never leave. Lakshmi’s life becomes a nightmare from which she cannot escape. Still, she lives by her mother’s words: "Simply to endure is to triumph." Gradually, she forms friendships with the other girls that enable her to survive in this terrifying world. She befriends a young boy, Harish, the son of one of the prostitutes. He attends school and works fetching tea for the women and their clients. Harish begins to teach Lakshmi how to read and speak English. Lakshmi is profoundly moved when he buys her a pencil to teach her how to write. They form a deep friendship. When a man posing as a client comes to the brothel to rescue girls, Lakshmi regains a sense of hope. Soon the day comes when she must make a decision. Will she risk everything even her life and freedom to help her friends who kept her going? In the end, she makes a powerful choice. It is both cathartic and uplifting.
Oscar winner and nine time Emmy Award winning producer/writer, Joe Kwong, who has written screenplays optioned by Francis Ford Coppola and Wayne Wang, wrote the adaptation. Joe’s most recent adaptation, Nim’s Island with Walden Media and 20th Century Fox grossed 94 million World Wide so far. It stars Jodie Foster, Gerard Butler (300) and Abigail Breslin (Little Miss Sunshine).
Our Indian production partner is Sikhya Entertainment. The founder, Anurag Kashyap, is a screenwriter of twenty films including Academy Award nominated Water. He is an internationally recognized director of: Black Friday (Grand Jury Prize winner at the Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles), No Smoking, Dev D and Gulaal. Danny Boyle is producing Anurag's next film Bombay Velvet.
The target audience for SOLD is 15 to 50 year olds. Historically, films that break out at the box office appeal to a wide age range as will ours. Globally, there has never been a stronger interest in the culture and country of India. Internationally, people are aware that India is a rising economic force. Besides business interest in India, there is a growing cultural interest from exposure to Indian philosophy and yoga. There have also been many recent successful films produced in India that have gained international status and a healthy box office.