The Candy Shop Trailer from Brandon McCormick on Vimeo.
Trafficking. Admittedly, when I hear this word, I think of something that passes in the distance. Something I must be aware of for precaution but happens "over there" - outside of the suburban American safety bubble in which I am so comfortably seated. It receives no more reaction out of me than a shaking of the head and change of thought in favor of something more savory. What more can I do?
But this incredible new film, which premiered on Monday night in Atlanta Georgia, has taken a most beautifully innovative (and, yes, creepy) approach to blowing the lid off of child trafficking in that city and, I suspect, the hushed endemic rashing the United States. "It is not a documentary," the film's website asserts. "It is not a PSA. The Candy Shop is a film initiative to help fight against child sex trafficking. It is the beginning of a movement." Wait. So, what is it?
Made for The Doorpost Film Project, this 30 minute short film is a parable - a fairy tale, it's also being called. With the visual tone of Tim Burton and rapt with musing references to childhood throwback Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, director Brandon McCormick's take on the subject matter is eerily inviting. "The definition of lust is to turn a human being into an object," says McCormick. "We wanted to symbolize that in the film."
"There's a candy shop owner who has a machine in his basement," the plot explained by Cheryl Deluca-Johnson of Street Grace, an advocacy group aimed at ending child exploitation. "He lures children into the candy shop. They go in one side of the machine, come out as candy on the other, and he sells it to the men who come by."
Don't worry: I hear from folks over at SteetGRACE and Whitestone Motion Pictures that the film indeed has a happy ending. We all get to witness the fairy tale unfold sometime before the new year. Make sure you follow @WhitestoneMP on Twitter and visit Stop The Candy Shop for updates on the film's release date as well as information on how to get involved in the fight against child sex trafficking.