recently completed short film "Only Light" is one of those rare films that deals
with a subject matter that isn’t often spoken about, or brought to attention – that
of human sex trafficking.
tells what happens when a young girl is kidnapped from the Democratic Republic of
the Congo, and sold as a sex worker in the U.S., and who finds an escape from
reality by watching a teenage girl next door.
Thembi Banks, and produced by Zac Skipp and Elena Ostromouva, and starring Kennedy
Zimet, Brooke McNeal, Michael Beach, Aaron Spears, Michole White, Ms. Castine made the film as part of USC Cinema’s
Advanced Production class, where she was the first African-American female
selected to direct.
As for why
Ms. Castine wanted to direct a film about such a difficult and disturbing topic
she said that: “I am really interested
in the inner life of people, what they think about and why they do the things
they do. While I was researching the topic of human trafficking…the element of
mind control and escaping through the mind came up a lot so I asked
what does that look like visually and what it feels like to be unseen by
added that: “Human trafficking is
not just a “third world problem,” it’s also a domestic issue and a humanitarian
issue that all of us should care about. There are over 30 million people
enslaved globally and it’s the 3rd largest criminal industry in the world. 13 – is the average age for a woman to be
enslaved for the purposes of commercial sex acts. These are our children. What
kind of society are we if we are not protecting our children?”
And finally: "I am really inspired by
the resiliency of people who survive atrocities and speak about it so plainly
as if it’s a way of life. I spoke with survivors of human trafficking during
the development process and I remember their stories. I have a problem living in a time where
slavery is accepted on a global level…. I feel like letting people know about
modern day slavery is the right thing to be doing."
Below is the
new trailer for "Only Light:"