During National Sex Trafficking Awareness Month this January, writer-director Janet Craig unveils her new eye-opening dramatic feature film, WAKE UP, during a 10-city Premiere and Panel Road Tour series. These pre-release special screening events are to raise community awareness about the hidden victimization of foster youth in suburban America who fall prey to sex trafficking.
The FBI estimates that more than 100,000 children and teens in the U.S. are victims of sex trafficking and 60% of victims have been within the foster care or child welfare system.
Based on real-life stories of foster youth and human trafficking victims, WAKE UP tells the story of a quiet community rocked when a pair of foster youth are targeted and taken by a sex trafficking ring. A daring rescue is mounted — but will it be too late?
Beginning January 4th, Craig and producer Kristen Wise, both foster moms themselves, head out on a grass-roots road tour screening their film in 10 cities that are currently battling high rates of human trafficking. These cities include Phoenix (1/4), Tucson (1/5), Dallas (1/7), Atlanta (1/9), Nashville (1/10), Chicago (1/12), Milwaukee (1/13), Twin Cities (1/14), San Diego (1/22), and Los Angeles (1/29 & 1/30).
To further help suburban America “wake up”, after each premiere screening, Craig and Wise will be joined by local organizations, leaders and experts for a valuable Q&A Panel and discussion in an effort to bring the community together and raise awareness about the widespread reality of sex trafficking.
Delivering a powerful message at the end of WAKE UP, the filmmakers recruited prominent survivor-turned-advocate Rachel C. Thomas (Presidential appointee to the U.S. Advisory Council on Human Trafficking).
The filmmakers have pledged to donate the profits to assisting non-profits fighting this injustice with many involved from the very beginning, including foster care support organization RaisingHOPE, and the anti-trafficking organizations Forever Found and ZOE International. More recently, the film gained additional support from Aetna, Soroptimist International, Alamo Drafthouse Cinemas, Christian Alliance for Orphans among others.
More about WAKE UP:WAKE UP stars Janet Craig (Butterfly Caught), David Gridley (Team Kaylie), Isaac C. Singleton, Jr. (Anger Management, Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl), Judson Mills (Walker, Texas Ranger), Brooke Anne Smith (Too Close To Home), Matt Socia (Breaking Them Up, Better Call Saul); along with several newcomers at the center of the story, including Tori Griffith, O’Shay Neal, Chasnie Houston and Xan Gabriel. The film finishes with an essential message from prominent human trafficking survivor and outspoken advocate Rachel C. Thomas.
Janet Craig and her husband Doug Grossman, produced the project to shed light on the sinister world of sex trafficking, an issue of importance to the longtime foster parents. To help produce the project, Craig has partnered with Mike and Kristen Wise, who have personally fostered over 100 children, and executive producer Deborah Smerecnik of Busy Bee Film Productions.
The WAKE UP message is already resonating with audiences, earning Best Picture, Best Actor (O’Shay Neal) and a standing ovation at the 2021 Sunscreen Film Festival West in California.
Learn more about WAKE UP at: OfficialWakeUpMovie.com
For 10-City Premiere and Panel Event info/tickets visit: OfficialWakeUpMovie.com/tour
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