“La Mitad del Mundo: Surviving Sex Trafficking in the Middle of the World” (2018, IMDB) is a documentary film in which young survivors of sex trafficking in Ecuador share their stories and their dreams for the future through live action and stop-motion animation.
“I’m a big dreamer. I always dream of being someone in this life.” -Marisol*
In many ways, Marisol* is a typical 14 year old girl in Ecuador. She is quick to smile and has two best friends with whom she shares all her secrets. She has big dreams that include being a singer, a dancer and eventually a judge. Unfortunately what sets her apart, is that for almost two years she was sex trafficked in a brothel in the middle of the jungle. She was held against her will and controlled with drugs until the brothel’s cook helped her escape.
What happens to your dreams when your innocence is taken? Young girls are the most vulnerable population to sexual exploitation, the most common form of human trafficking. In part to protect the identity of the young survivors featured in the film, this film allows girls tell to tell their own stories through a combination of live action and stop-motion animation, including animation created by survivors themselves. Literally in the middle of the world, Ecuador is representative of a worldwide scourge and multibillion dollar industry. For years, rescued girls in Ecuador were taken to a safe house located in Mitad del Mundo, the town located at 0 degrees longitude and 0 degrees latitude. There, they were acclimated back to normal life and guided back to the girl they once were. Robbed of their childhood, once they are far along enough in the healing process, it becomes apparent that these girls have yet to lose their dreams and hope for the future. We learn that these girls are not throw aways but young people looking for their true selves after traumatizing events.
Erika Valenciana | Director & Executive Producer
Shawnecee Schneider | Co-Director
Magdalena Hernandez | Editor
Ben Nissen | Motion Graphics
Bianca Diaz | Animator
Amy Guth | Associate Producer