"Sold," a movie about sex trafficking, will be screened at the Criterion Theatre on May 17. After the film, Catherine Mossman will speak about human trafficking in Maine. PHOTO COURTESY OF SOLD THE MOVIE

Film, talk focus on human trafficking

BAR HARBOR — An advocate for sex-trafficked girls will speak at the Criterion Theatre on Tuesday, May 17, at 6:30 p.m. as part of a program that includes a free screening of “Sold,” a movie about sex trafficking.

Catherine Mossman grew up the girl next door, spending her winters in Florida and summers in Maine, a seemingly perfect life. But by the time she entered first grade, a sexual predator had targeted her, twisting her ideal life into a succession of nightmare experiences. He was the first of many predators who besieged Mossman. She was yanked into the sex slavery trade.

Mossman eventually escaped from the violence and torture, the confinement and the manipulation. After years of healing, she now speaks publicly about sex trafficking in Maine.

The Bar Harbor Rotary Club has partnered with Mount Desert Island High School’s Interact Club and the Red Empress Foundation to sponsor “Sold.” Donations will go to the Starfish Project to help build a kitchen in a shelter for trafficked children.

The high school students were inspired to do something about human trafficking after attending Rotary’s United Nations Day last November. They already have hosted a dance at the high school to raise funds to fight against modern day slavery.

“I think that listening to the adults [at United Nations Day] helped to give us an understanding of how human trafficking works. It’s given us the incentive to look for ideas of what we should do to help make a difference,” said senior Maddy Shields.

Interact is meant to provide students between the ages of 12 and 18 help to make a difference in their world. “Sold” is an example of making a difference.

“Sold” is a narrative, feature film adaptation of the globally acclaimed novel by Patricia McCormick. Based on true stories, the movie tells the story of Lakshmi, who journeys from a pastoral, rural village in Nepal to a gritty brothel/prison called Happiness House in Kolkata, India.

Through one extraordinary girl’s story, “Sold” illustrates the brutality of child trafficking, which affects millions of children around the globe every year. Globally, the average age of a trafficked girl is 13, the same age as the girl in the film. The movie is a call to action and a testament to the power and resilience of the human spirit.

“Sold” was directed by Academy and Emmy award-winner Jeffrey D. Brown. The executive producer was two-time Academy Award winner Emma Thompson. Mossman will speak for 20 minutes after the movie.

Visit catherinemossman.com, mdirotary.org, www.stoptraffickingme.org and www.soldthemovie.com.

If you or someone you know is being sexually abused or trafficked and needs immediate help, call The Maine Sexual Assault Crisis and Support Line at 1-800-871-7741, The Maine Domestic Violence Helpline at 1-866-43-4HELP or The National Human Trafficking Resource Center at 1-888-373-7888.

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