We keep going

It’s almost end of January and (as of 1/27/2016) we are 52% founded. This is great news but also not so great news. We have been fundraising for two months now and our hopes were that we would definitely be done by now. So much energy and effort has been spent on gathering funds that I think we are ready to move on to the pre-production stage of movie making – finding crew members, drawing storyboards, finding locations, casting, figuring out our EP album. After all, we are shooting in MAY 2016.

Now it is time to PRAY BIG! We are praying for the funds, we are praying for the donors, we are praying for the project and for all the people that will be involved in it. I’m personally excited to write some updates soon sharing about our meetings and the cool conversation we are having with all kinds of people about the issue of human trafficking.

If you're the "praying kind" consider attending HUMAN TRAFFICKING - NIGHT OF PRAYER & WORSHIP this Friday (1/29/2016 7PM) in Los Gatos. More info here.

Soooo. Stay tuned and pray with us for the remaining 48%! Let’s dream big.


Ola Soler 

My WHY by Jessica Attard

I am part of this project because I cherish what I have.  I want to bring educate while bringing comfort and joy to others through film.  

Despite our daily challenges, or hurdles we have to jump, we all find ways to make it through. Human Trafficking is a serious crime and I want to be part of bringing the knowledge to life.

I want everyone to now what it is that we are fighting head on.  By putting the awareness in a film, we will reach a much larger audience than just speaking the words.  We can help save someone!  That is the best gift anyone can ask for. 

I am blessed to be a part of this project and I am pleased to help bring positivity and knowledge to life.


My WHY by Ola Soler

Have you ever heard of Simon Sinek? The other day my husband showed me a video, a TED Talk, called “How great leaders inspire action.” If you haven’t seen it yet, please do. It’s super cool! https://www.ted.com/talks/simon_sinek_how_great_leaders_inspire_action?language=en

The whole idea of the talk was to show how important it is for us to know WHY we do things. Not how and what we do, but simply WHY we do them. Simon Sinek gave an example of a couple of companies including Apple, which has a strong WHY statement in their business model. Their WHY was to be different and to challenge the status quo. Because of that model they can succeed no matter whether they create computers, music devices or watches. We just love Apple’s WHY.

And so I have been thinking a lot about that in past few weeks. What do I value as a dreamer, a women and as a filmmaker? I wanted to find out my WHYs so that I can do things with a purpose. 

I challenged our team to think about this as well and come up with some statements about WHY we are part of Neighbor project. Here is what I came up with. Stay tuned for Jessica’s statement coming up next.  

I am part of this project because I love my life. I love people and the stories they have. So often when I meet strangers and hear about their life, what they do and what they are about I think, “That’s such a cool story for a movie!” And that is so true of all of us. Each of our lives could probably be turned into a movie. We all have stories to tell. Our childhood, the relationships with parents, peers, coworkers, the struggles we face everyday like finances, personal conflicts, physical disabilities, buried dreams and hopes for future.

So when I make a movie I think about how many common components this particular story has that are part of our own stories. It’s so beautiful because it makes me realize how deeply we all are connected, we all are similar and we all are worthy. It makes me realize that living in the todays so individualistic world we actually really need other people and are often dependent on them. It makes me realize that life can be so beautiful when you share it with others, through conversations, through events and through movies.

That is why making movies plays such a significant role in my life.

Now Human Trafficking is important to me because:

  • As a dreamer, I dream about a better world.

  • As a woman, I cry for those who are oppressed and deprived of freedom.

  • As a filmmaker, I believe that movies move and change life.

I believe that this movie will not only raise awareness about Human Trafficking but most importantly it will serve many organizations and individuals as a tool to open conversations and encourage to take action. This could mean writing down a hotline number, notifying authorities of a suspicious situation, starting a conversation with a survivor and letting them know about their amazing value. So this movie is going to be great. But this movie is not a solution. It’s a tool to help us figure out the solution.


Ola Soler

Finding those moments in the middle

It’s a countdown now.

I can’t believe it’s already December. Do you ever have months that just fly by and you have no idea how you got to the point where you are? Well, I feel that way. Somehow I got stuck in September and whenever I look on the calendar and see number 12 I can hardly believe it. But it is December, the end of 2015 is near! And for our team this means a COUNTDOWN. We have started raising funds for our short film a couple of months ago and we are 37% in, which means $21,000. Thank you! To be honest, it’s been quite a ride.

I got to talk to some filmmakers recently and we chatted about how this stage of production seems to be never-ending. There is a lot of work involved. We are constantly reaching out to people, getting marketing material together, spreading the word, attending events, reading articles and books, writing emails, proposals, making PowerPoint presentations and designing infographics, as you are trying to connect with the world about your project. And you still have your crew to communicate with day by day – so, in other words, yeah, there is a lot of work to do. Add to that you have to take into account the unknown and add a little bit of time pressure, as you really have no clue at what point your fundraising will be done.

But, it’s all about perspective. You see, you do have to do your job, and to succeed you have to do it well. But your job is what you love to do, right? We are making a movie – how cool is that?! And making a movie is one of the best things that I have experienced in my life. Last year, when we made 1440 and Counting, I felt like I was living in a dream. When you really stop and examine the fundraising stage of a movie, or the pre-production stage (when all the casting, gathering equipment, finding locations and food happens), or the production (shooting), or post-production (editing, color correction, sound design), you realize that those stages are simply BEAUTIFUL -full of people, creativity, coincidences and answers to prayers!

For past months our team has been working hard on wanting to tell a story that would raise awareness of human trafficking in the Bay Area and beyond. As we have been doing that I can tell you, not only our team has grown in awareness but also the people we are interacting with. This project has been so amazing! As I walk around campus of SFSU (I currently attend the cinema program there) I keep my eyes open for opportunities to talk to people about this issue. I talk to my friends in class about the project we are working on and how much we want to stop human trafficking. The responses have been great and people actually really do care about other human beings, which makes me so happy. In addition, once in a while things like last night will happen. Tony and I attended an annual dinner for supporters of Bay Area Anti-Trafficking Coalition.

It was such an inspiring and encouraging event. We loved connecting with people like Betty Ann Boeving (pictured above), of BAATC, who so strongly stands for helping victims of human trafficking. I walked out of the event full of hope and determination to make a change. And knowing that there are other people who feel the same way as we do is just beyond words.

So what’s the takeaway? Fundraising is not easy. But fundraising is just a step in a big process of making a change. We are willing to take that step and we are thankful and happy for all of the time it takes to reach our goal, because that time is full of opportunities, conversations and hope.

I’m curious to hear your thoughts about fundraising! Your experiences or tips for us!

Help us spread the word. Click here!

Till next time,

Countdown: 27 days

Ola Soler, Producer