The independent film Sound of Freedom begins screening in South African cinemas nationwide on Friday 18 August.
Sound of Freedom is based on the true story of Tim Ballard, a former agent of the US Department of Homeland Security, who decides on his own to carry out an operation to save a young brother and his sister from human trafficking in Colombia.
Jim Caviezel, who played the role of Jesus in Mel Gibson’s 2004 movie The Passion of the Christ played Ballard in the movie.
This film has already had remarkable success at theaters in the US and Europe. According to the film criticism platform Rotten Tomatoes, this film performed better than Tom Cruise’s during the weekend of 21 to 23 July Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One with third place in earnings just behind Barbie and Oppenheimer. In the previous weekend Sound of Freedom dust in too Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny kicked his eyes at the box office.
Angel Studios, the production house behind the film, found an unconventional way to attract people to theaters to watch the movie and at the same time raise awareness about the issue of human trafficking.
“Our goal was to inspire two million people to attend the movie’s opening weekend. In this way, it symbolizes the approximately two million children who are caught in a web of human trafficking worldwide,” explained Caviezel.
“Angel Studios has the ‘pay it forward‘ principle introduced where you can buy a movie ticket for someone else, who would otherwise not be able to see the film. If the price of the tickets prevents you from seeing the movie, you can claim a free ticket.”
So far, the goal of two million has already been exceeded and it currently stands at more than four million tickets that have been purchased on this principle.
This initiative will also be rolled out in South Africa for the movie. Caviezel said the intention is to call viewers to action and at the end of Sound of Freedom every viewer is asked to help spread the story against child trafficking.
Gravel Road Distribution group, the local distributors of the movie, have already set a target of 10,000 tickets with the #PayItForwardAngels campaign, which they want to collect with the help of ordinary moviegoers and companies to help those who cannot afford it to buy a movie ticket yourself.
As South Africa’s population dynamics and circumstances are different from the US, some of the money raised will also go towards covering the cost of transport to cinemas.
South African audiences can visit www.gravelroadafrica.com/payitforward for more information on how to donate or claim a local ticket.
Benjamin Cowley, CEO of Gravel Road Distribution group expressed his anticipation about the launch of the film, as human trafficking is one of the fastest growing international crime networks and is already stronger than the illegal arms trade and will soon overtake drug trafficking.
According to the organization against human trafficking, South Africa is considered one of the countries that is a source, transit and destination for victims of human trafficking.
“Sound of Freedom tells an important story, one that is all too often hidden. Child trafficking is a global phenomenon and it is estimated that more people find themselves in this type of slavery today than ever before.
“I hope that through the film we can help raise awareness of the magnitude of this issue and contribute to positive change,” said Cowley.
Watch the trailer of Sound of Freedom here:
- Also read here on RNews about Gideon Swart from Pretoria’s attempt to raise awareness against human trafficking and the human rights lawyer Nadine Blom’s advice to curb human trafficking.