Celebrate Human Rights Day with Five ITVS Films

By Rebecca Huval

Which holidays are you celebrating this December: Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa, and New Year’s Eve? Add another to the list because today is Human Rights Day. On December 10, 1948, the United Nations adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and the UN now honors it annually. This year’s theme is the right to speak up in public life and politics.

Still from The Day My God Died

Celebrate Human Rights Day by catching up on these excellent ITVS-funded documentaries about human rights: Continue reading

The Day My God Died, Sunday on Global Voices

The ITVS-funded documentary by Andrew Levine airs Sunday, June 24 on Global Voices on the WORLD Channel.

Narrated by Academy Award-winning actor Tim Robbins, The Day My God Died lifts the veil of secrecy on the sex trafficking of Nepali children in India using footage from the brothels captured with spy camera technology. The film tells the stories of Gina, sold into sexual slavery at age 7, raped by 14 men, and beaten with sticks and aluminum rods; Anita, lured by a friend, then drugged and sold to a brothel at age 12, where she was beaten and threatened with being buried alive; Maili, trafficked at age 19, along with her infant daughter who was seized and used as “insurance” to keep Maili from fleeing; and Jyoti, sold at age 12, raped, choked, and forced to drink alcohol to break down her resistance.

Watch the trailer after the jump. Continue reading

CNN’S Hero Award Goes to Independent Lens Subject

This year Anuradha Koirala received CNN's Hero of the Year Award

Last week CNN honored Anuradha Koirala with their Hero of the Year award. Koirala is one of the foremost activists working to abolish sex trafficking in Nepal and India. She was also one of the subjects featured in the 2004 Independent Lens film The Day My God Died. Andrew Levine directed that documentary and shared his thoughts with BTB on this year’s hero.

There in front of me was a room, a room of lost innocence, a room of stolen youth. Thirty young girls and babies all returned from India. All dying of AIDS, all knowing they are dying of AIDS. Every emotion running through me. Should I cry? Should I scream? What should I do?

— Andrew Levine, Journal Entry, April 20, 1999

It was there in Nepal on my very first day where everything changed.  We were visiting Maiti Nepal founded by Anuradha Koirala, who provides aftercare for the young girls who had been rescued from the brothels of Mumbai.

It was that exact moment when I realized the first step must be to document the real story, by combining real words and real statistics with pictures that don’t lie.
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CNN Nominates a Hero from Independent Lens

Anuradha Koirla is one of the nominees in CNN’s Top Ten Heroes of 2010.

Filmmaker Andrew Levine, whose Emmy-nominated film The Day My God Died aired on Independent Lens in 2004, updates BTB on one of the subjects of his documentary.

One of the primary subjects of my film The Day My God Died has been nominated as one of CNN’s Top Ten Heroes of 2010. Anuradha Koirla, founder of Maiti Nepal, is one of the foremost activists working to abolish sex trafficking in Nepal and India.  Maiti Nepal’s main mission is to provide prevention, housing, medical care, counseling, and vocational training to survivors of the sex trade.
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