Roseville, Calif. – The Pink Room, an award-winning documentary about sex trafficking of girls in Cambodia, will be featured 10 p.m. Monday on KVIE, the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) channel in the Sacramento region.
The Pink Room follows Mien, a young girl who entered a brothel and had her virginity sold in order to help her struggling family. It’s an all too-common story for young girls in Cambodia – and worldwide. An estimated 1 million children are victims of sex trafficking.
South Placer County residents Janey Shugart and Joel Sandvos completed The Pink Room in early 2012. The documentary, which has grabbed 12 awards from the Sacramento International Film Festival to most recently the Grand Rapids (Mich.) Film Festival, details the issue of sex trafficking in Svay Pak, considered a major hub of sex trafficking in Southeast Asia.
“We are so thrilled that we have an opportunity to educate and inspire people to action in the issue of sex trafficking,” Sandvos says. “So many documentaries on this subject leave people feeling helpless and just sad, but this film gives people a chance to see solutions and hope in the battle, which we have heard many times over from people who have seen it. To have our film’s public debut on our local PBS station is a dream, and we look forward to seeing the future impact that this film will have around the world.”
First-time filmmaker Sandvos says the documentary details the reality of sex trafficking, but also the solutions to stop the crime, from Cambodian officials who want to protect their young residents to nonprofit groups such as Roseville-based Agape International Missions (AIM), which is educating and sheltering girls in Svay Pak. AIM founder Don Brewster is interviewed in the documentary.
“We really have an amazing film,” says Shugart, who served as the executive producer of the film along with her husband, Steve, and Carl Shore of Auburn. “I want people to say, ‘what can I do about this?'”
Janey Shugart and Sandvos, who visited Cambodia a combined five times during a three-year period in order to make the film, are still developing their film industry skills. They attended film festivals and read books to learn more about the profession, before working on The Pink Room. Sandvos, formerly a full-time welder, also served as producer, cinematographer and editor of The Pink Room.
The documentary focuses on the problems – and the solutions.
“It’s also about hope,” says Sandvos, adding groups like AIM, Chab Dai and International Missions are making a huge difference in Cambodia. “They’re the shining light.”
About Goat Rock Films
Joel Sandvos established Goat Rock Films with the purpose of making powerful films that compel people to shape the world into a better place. ‘The Pink Room’ is the company’s first film. The company is based in Roseville.
About Agape International Missions
In response to the problem of human trafficking, Agape International Missions (AIM) in 2005 began focusing its efforts on ending this travesty in Cambodia’s epicenter of child sex-trafficking, Svay Pak. AIM opened Agape Restoration Center in August 2006, providing holistic, long-term after-care for rescued girls, and in September 2007, opened a community center, Rahab’s House, in a former brothel in the heart of Svay Pak, where sex slavery is the norm for every girl by the age of 10. Programs have grown to Prevent, Rescue, Restore and Equip others to do the same.