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Film details sex trafficking

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 by Krystal Paco

Guam - It's a $32 billion industry globally and often referred to as modern day slavery. And while January marked Human Sex Trafficking Awareness Month, local talent have slaved away on a project in an effort  to do their part to shed light on the issue that's already hit close to home.

"It's in plain sight," explained Brian Muna. "And people don't really talk about it because maybe they're not aware. They walk by and maybe they choose to ignore the bad and only focus on the good. The film is supposed to be a sort of awareness - these things do happen. And I always describe it as a fiction that is a truth because there are some women or child that is suffering in these conditions."

Muna is referring to human sex trafficking, a social issue that's left its mark here at home.

Over the last several years individuals were convicted in federal and local court for their roles in the Blue House Lounge case - Song Ja Cha, the mastermind who brought young girls from Chuuk to Guam to act as prostitutes at her Upper Tumon bar and two former Guam Police officers, David Manila and Anthony Quenga, who helped enforce the illegal activity.

Using human sex trafficking as the backdrop, Muna is the director and editor for "The Madam", a short film that follows a fictional political figure who doubles as a "madam" in a human sex trade.

Playing the title role is screenwriter and executive producer Rubyjane Buhain-Redila. Buhain-Redila collaborated with Muna and director of photography Alan Certeza to bring her script to the big screen.

"I wanted this story to really resonate. It doesn't just happen here on our island. It happens globally and I feel like we're almost desensitized to this issue," she said.

Buhain-Redila hopes her short film, whose trailer can be viewed online, will expose the issue and inspire action. Currently in post-production, "The Madam" is set to be showcased in the 2015 Guam International Film Festival.

Ultimately, the goal is to create a feature film and to create a mechanism to support awareness efforts.

She said, "We are starting a non-profit organization. It's called the Pacific Motion Alliance. The aim of the organization is to help support talent like Brian and I who want to create films that tackle the social issues like human sex trafficking and gay rights. So far, that's where we're heading. With the help and support of the community and the Guam International Film Festivals, we really hope to push it through to the next level which is the feature length film."

For more information on "The Madam" and how you can support the film and awareness efforts, visit their Facebook page.
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