The illegal trade of human beings for the purposes of commercial sexual exploitation or forced labor.
Local Brown Films (LBF), a Los Angeles based production company, has fully developed, and intends to finance, produce, and distribute a sweeping international epic film entitled Bleeding Sunshine, and thereby manage the rights to Bleeding Sunshine, so that it is seen by mass market audiences on a global scale, and subsequently returns profits to the film’s investors and to all of its profit participants. The illegal trade of human beings for the purposes of commercial sexual exploitation or forced labor.
Ghana, where the film takes place, has been established over the past several years as a globally recognized emerging film market, with hundreds of films produced every year. The Ghanaian film industry has been affectionately named Ghallywood. Although there are many projects coming out of this market every year, the high demand for content has caused the quality of many of the films to suffer. LBF has assembled an international team of the best technicians, and artists in Ghana and from the US to produce a Hollywood-quality film, that will help establish Ghallywood as a legitimate film production market, ushering a new era in Ghanaian cinema.
The artistic mission of the project is to produce an original, visually arresting, and entertaining feature film, with a strong social commentary on the international epidemic of human trafficking, which plagues many African nations today.
Genre - Action/Drama
Pitch - Taken meets Blood Diamond
Logline – An academically gifted school girl risks everything to save her destitute family, and finds herself ensnared in an international human trafficking ring that puts her on a collision course with her manifest destiny.
SWEETIE ADDO is a promising young academic hailing from a long line of fishermen in the quaint fishing hamlet of Prampram, Ghana. Charged with lifting her family out of poverty, she is on the eve of taking her entrance exams for University, when her father, CAPT. ADDO, is tragically lost at sea. She is forced to abandon her studies in order to find work to help support her struggling family.
Sweetie settles into a mundane waitressing job at the local polo club, where she meets 2 extraordinary gentlemen who make her an offer she cannot refuse….They impress her with their fancy car, Italian suits, and big talk of a modeling career in Milan. She is not initially sold on the idea of modeling….that is until they mention the opportunity for her to pursue her education for free in the West.
GOODY ADDO, Sweetie’s mother, is reluctant to let her daughter go abroad with these men, but is quietly swayed by a sizeable amount of money offered to her by their nefarious boss, AUNTY GEORGINA. Once Sweetie is removed from her mother’s home, and taken to Accra to await her passport, what began as any girl’s dream, quickly begins to unravel into a hellish nightmare.
Her dark journey takes her from Ghana to Egypt, where she is transported by Bedouins through the depths of the Sinai corridor on camel-back, and ultimately sold to a brother in Tel Aviv’s notorious red light district…..The nightmare continues as she is forced to sell herself in order to purchase her freedom back from her cold-hearted captor – brothel owner MADAM.
Sweetie’s only reprieve comes in the form of a friendship sparked with Madam’s young grandson MAZ and his brindle kitten TAF-TAF . She also befriends, albeit reluctantly, a lonely brothel patron, EYAL HEFFETZ, who wants desperately to help her escape, but simply doesn’t have the wherewithal.
Numerous escape attempts prove fruitless. Sweetie is pushed to the breaking point when the 2 girls she was trafficked into the brothel with leave – one in a wooden box, and the other on the auction block. She is forced to plan and execute an escape on her own, before she faces a similar fate….Her life depends on it.
Bleeding Sunshine is a plot and character driven piece embedded in the dark underworld of the international sex trade. Opportunities are rife for emotionally impactful and compelling cinematography, which is inherent in my filmmaking style. When we meet our heroine Sweetie, although she is poor, she lives in an ideal world - a warm, rich, vibrant place full of color and full of life; the way I see Ghana. I aim to portray Ghana, visually, as it has never been done on film before. It is an amazingly beautiful country with a strong cultural identity, which will translate swimmingly on the big screen.
As we move through Egypt and ultimately to Tel Aviv, Sweetie’s ideal world becomes, darker, less vibrant, a little de-saturated, and gritty….all symbolic of her physical and spiritual demise through the course of her ordeal. The various flashback sequences and intercutting lend themselves to the intense, frightening, and tragic spirit of this piece, as Sweetie viscerally experiences the highs and lows of her dark journey.
Tonally, this stylized action drama will feel like a marriage between Danny Boyle’s seminal piece Slumdog Millionaire, and Inarritu’s Babel, while maintaining its unique identity.
The intent of the style is to move viewers beyond the realm of sight and sound alone. I want the audience to smell the day’s catch; I want the audience to taste the fresh kabobs roasting on an open grill on the roadside as Aunty Goody sells her wares; I want the audience to feel the ocean spray on their faces, as they watch the fishermen going out to sea; I want our audiences to live in Sweetie’s world – good, bad, and ugly. I believe this can all be achieved through creating a layered, believable world in each location that will transport audiences from the theaters to places where the sunshine bleeds.
One important objective of this film is to portray to international audiences, a more realistic vision of one African family. Western media is fraught with negative images of Africans and Africa. Seldom do global audiences have the opportunity to see a normal, loving, genuine African family facing the same struggles all families face across the world. This is a great opportunity to bridge the gap.
OUT OF THE DARKNESS AND iNTO THE LiGHT
a FiLM BY
YAA BOAA ANiNG