Announcement: Monsters, Mafias and Manipulators

Red Earth is proud to announce that we are going to create a brand new documentary called STREET DREAMS: MONSTERS, MAFIAS AND MANIPULATORS.

This is a follow up to the original Street Dreams doco and will focus on the baddies – those responsible for trafficking and enslaving vulnerable people. Once again your favourite fearless filmmakers will go into the dark corners of the globe seeking to uncover the harsh realities of this $32 billion a year criminal industry. This doco will be the next step in a four-part documentary series which, we envision, will become a comprehensive resource on human trafficking and slavery in this modern age. Big stuff huh?

crimestoppers-logoRed Earth Films is proud to announce that world-renowned anti-crime organisation CrimeStoppers International is officially endorsing the Street Dreams initiative. Having a well-respected organization like CrimeStoppers onboard is a major boost for us in so many ways as we seek to dig deeper into such a widespread and complicated area like human trafficking and slavery. We are hoping that this partnership will be just one of many partnerships that we develop on this important journey.

Stay tuned for more exciting developments as we start to plan for this next stage of the Street Dreams odyssey… and thanks again for your amazing continued support!

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The Philippines revisted: pleasure spiked with pain

Glenda selling candy
A new lease on life for Glenda
……

Jason recently returned to The Philippines, flying in from his new home in north Thailand to catch up with people like Marlene Alastra of FOCUS Inc, Dr. Paulo Fuller and Diane all of whom appeared in  Street Dreams and continue to play a part in the trafficking world. Here are some thoughts of his recent experience as he went to show the film to everyone there for the first time…

All my trips to the Philippines are best summarised by The Red Hot Chilli Peppers in the song “Aeroplane” – pleasure spiked with pain. The pain could be better described as heartache. Hopefully the following account sheds some light on what I’m talking about.

NIGHT ONE – ANGELES CITY

I have arranged to visit Dr. Paulo Fuller, the English expert from Street Dreams, to show him the documentary. Pretty straightforward, right? But this is the Philippines we are talking about here folks…

We meet late in the afternoon but he tells me that at about 6pm he has to meet up with a French film crew who are going to film him delivering some sort of official documentation to a German guy. The documentation is informing the German that he has to front up to court the next day so that he can start taking responsibility for the Filipino child he has conceived, and is also rejecting. He said this showdown would take an hour. I thought: Sounds great! On meeting the crew, I am informed that this guy might get violent therefore could I please come along and stop the German from beating the Englishman (this is how America must have felt during WW2). I’ve never bashed a German on camera before, so hey, why not? We then spent the next 8 hours going in and out of clubs (brothels), housing estates and 5 star hotels.

Many of these clubs we filmed in Street Dreams, but then there was one that was definitely different. When we walked in the door, it was the usual fare: bored and embarrassed half-naked girls swaying to the music, praying that no ugly white guy would seek their company. But then suddenly one of the girls leapt on stage with microphone and sung with all the gusto of Christina Aguilera. The girls around her immediately broke into a syncronised dance routine. Is this a girly club or a cabaret?? Only in the Philippines.

The night for me finished at 2am when it seemed our German sleazebag gave us a slip. I found out later that they caught up with him and the German man, and, upon receiving his documentation, proceeded to bash the French crew (again, just like WW2).

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Jase and Diane dancing2

NIGHT TWO – MANILA

This time it was Marlene and Diane’s turn. We sat down and watched Street Dreams together. Diane was blushing but I could tell she was rather pleased. We then decided to head out to see what the other girls from the Street Dreams doco were doing. First we hit the Cabao street side intersection where we found Glenda looking quite happy selling candy and girl’s headbands in an alleyway. Her children were playing nearby on a cardboard box. Obviously this was not ideal, but it was certainly better then seeing her selling her body. I bought some candy for the kids. However, just around the corner was a mother with a young baby. She should have had a young son with her as well, but the 3 year-old had recently died from tonsilitis. How does a child die of tonsilitis in this day and age? Marlene showed me the photo of the deceased boy who was the same age as my little boy. I am not ashamed to admit I shed a few tears over that one. It hit home pretty hard.

Jase and Diane dancing1After catching a bus and a few jeepneys, we arrived back at the infamous row of brothels along Commonwealth Avenue. I thought we would return to the dingy dive that inspired Remember Seven’s Red Lit Stage song and music clip, but we went to a bar that was worse. I didn’t think that was possible, but it honestly looked like a shed that a farmer would keep a tractor in – no joke! As we sat in this barn, we looked across the room and saw five young horrified faces staring up at the stage. These were 16 year-old girls who had just wandered into the bar seeking work and they were beginning to realise the reality of what they were getting themselves into. I asked Diane whether these girls got any advice, training or support from the older girls or mamasans before they were to get their first customer. Nope, they had to figure it out the hard way. Looking at their young faces, Marlene and I were heartbroken at the thought that this dirty, ugly environment was the place they would lose their innocence.

I wasn’t going to let this den of sin have the last word. The DJ starting playing “Gangnam Style” over the speakers and since the joint was empty, I grabbed Diane,  jumped up on the vacant stage and got her to teach me this dance in front of the girls. Frowns turned to smiles as the mighty Braytrain displayed for the first time in a long time why he was the joke of Mansfield High school dances. Okay, so I was bit uncoordinated and I embarrassed Diane to death, but I hope I bought a bit of laughter to a place that doesn’t see much of that.

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So there it is, pleasure spiked with pain in my first trip back to the Philippines since we completed Street Dreams. Amongst the smiles and the tears I left those islands realising that Street Dreams was just the beginning, and that there are a lot more stories worldwide for Red Earth Films to tell. Some of those stories are about despair, some of them are about the human spirit, sometimes it will be about both. Either way, the challenge is before us and all our supporters to get out there and make it happen.

E-store now open; all Red Earth doco titles available!

PICK UP STREET DREAMS ON DVD

There have been some minor delays in getting the “official” store open but now all Red Earth documentaries can be purchased through Devine Media Solutions. Robyn Devine came on-board late last year to assist Red Earth with marketing and expansion of the Street Dreams story. It is her e-store that our films are being distributed through:

http://store.devinemedia.com.au/

Institutional versions of our past docos will be available soon as well.

If you have been holding out to get your copy or know someone who should see the film, please purchase a copy today!

Devine Media

March update: human trafficking is still a problem!

Hey folks, it been a bit quiet on the Street Dreams/ Red Earth front recently. We’ve been busy with personal transitions (ie. Jason moving to Thailand), trying to cover our bases with distribution, waiting on film festivals and examining new and exciting directions, particularly in North America. There is a possibility Street Dreams will be hitting Mike’s home turf of Canada in mid-2013.

Stay tuned and please keep supporting our effort! Our DVD is for sale and can be used to show friends and family or we also do public screening licenses so you can show your school, church or organisation. Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you need some extra info to help get the word out. We are wholly committed to helping to change perceptions and this industry and we hope we can count on your support to assist with that change. It only takes one person changing another person’s life to be worth it….!

Film article on Discordia Zine

DiscordiaOur friend Rebekah Lambert of Unashamedly Creative has written a great article on her zine/portal called “Discordia” where she outlines a plea to readers to pay attention to the plights of the girls in the sex industry as told by our Street Dreams film.

We greatly appreciate her insight and generosity in time and support to publish this article and promote our film to others. Discordia is a zine “for women by women” so we feel privileged to be recognised for the great respect we have for women as demonstrated by our film.

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Check out what Bek had to say:

http://www.discordia.com.au/buying-and-selling-the-bodies-and-dreams-of-young-girls/

Street Dreams DVD available for sale

Red Earth Films is pleased to announce our documentary film, Street Dreams,
available for purchase now on DVD!

SD DVD

While we await the official opening of our web store, Street Dreams DVDs are now available for sale via the Red Earth website (for Australian & NZ customers only; sorry overseas peoples!). Go get em…!

We appreciate your patience as we have completed production of our film on DVD. With this release – which features a revamped audio mix and minor visual improvements – comes a host of extras to round out the journey that making this film took us on, including:

– The 60 minute Street Dreams documentary
– Jason’s South East Asian Video Diary
– Mike’s Scenic montage
– “Red Lit Stage” Video from Remember Seven
– Chong’s Reflections on Destiny Rescue
…and more!

Watch this space as we’ll provide a link from here to our new web store page where you can purchase both the home-use copy of the film (for small groups like family and friends) plus institutional/public-screening licenses (for screening the film to groups over 20 people, like churches, communities, schools or as part of a social service programme**) for unlimited screenings. In addition, we will be selling versions of past Red Earth productions here as well.

** in part as a courtesy to Red Earth Films and also a legal responsibility to the end-user, we are asking groups who are likely to screen the film to larger groups or regularly in an educational environment to purchase the institutional license. We are offering it at a fair price which helps compensate Red Earth for a film that was largely made off our own backs but also offers users a legal and cost-effective way to expose the issue of human trafficking. Thank you!

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ABOUT STREET DREAMS

This is a landmark film for Red Earth films as it is a passionate reflection of who we are and the issues we feel need to be shared with the world.

In Sept 2012, we completed a five-state tour recently through Australia which was an amazing experience. It was great to see Street Dreams up on the big screen but more importantly some of the impressions we made on people who were touched by what they saw was all we could have hoped for. Check out our Aussie Tour page which links to photos from the trip, testimonials from people who felt our passionate message. If you’d like to organise your own event, please contact us!

This blog is an ongoing resource of information about our film project Street Dreams and its progress, and of links and stories pertaining to the documentary’s topic of human trafficking and the enslavement of millions of people worldwide. Use the menu above to find out more about the film and it’s creators!

We hope you will join us to feel moved, inspired and entertained!

Recent fundraising and awareness events

Girls Night Out poster

We’ve had a number of groups take the initiative lately to help get folks seeing Street Dreams and continue to raise funds for Red Earth as well as anti-trafficking groups FOCUS and Destiny Rescue. It is this kind of initiative that really is inspiring to see and we are grateful for this kind of amazing generosity of time and interest in the issue. Some highlights of recent events:

  • in Queensland, an encore performance at Jason’s old stomping ground at Centenary Uniting in Riverhills featuring a Remember Seven performance.
  • a great home-screening with about 20 folks who raised $800 for the cause (thanks Adrienne and Dave!)
  • generous former contributors at Wavell Heights UC got a special performance for about 40 members to say thanks for contributing to the project
  • in South Australia, good friends Kylie Johns and are group of her friends organised two events: a Girl’s Night Out fundraiser evening that raised $6000 (!) for Destiny Rescue and FOCUS and then a Street Dreams screening two weeks later where another $850 was raised towards the trafficking groups plus Red Earth. Congrats on that!

On top of that, we’ve had an impassioned individual decide to donate fortnightly to us in order to support what we are doing. We are deeply thankful for such generosity as it shows a commitment and validation of the work we are doing.

Thanks to everyone who is working hard so far for us. We are hoping that with the release of our DVD this week, we will start seeing more groups gaining traction in the fight against human trafficking.