This Filmmaker is Shedding Light on Sex Trafficking in Her Feature Film

by March 3, 2015
filed under Activism
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Anne Leigh Cooper believes that women deserve more when it comes to film. “I think women’s empowerment in this industry is something we desperately need and I am ready to be one of the soldiers for the cause,” she says. A filmmaker in NYC who’s working to raise awareness of women’s rights, sex trafficking and rape, Anne is raising funds for her first feature film, Welcome to Amsterdam. We caught up with the filmmaker to learn why these issues are so important to her and how others can support her work.

Who is Anne Leigh Cooper?
A powerful, driven and enthusiastic female filmmaker/actor from the Netherlands that wants to create notable films while empowering women and bring social issues into the light.

Your short, $tockholm Syndroom, is very powerful. What research went into the concept of the film?
Thank you! I heard lots of stories from women who went through being a sex slave and came out at the other end of it. It was truly heartbreaking but I took the essence of their stories and wrote them into the script. It’s really a film that brings a voice to those that don’t have one.

You’re working on a new film called Welcome to Amsterdam. How will it be different than $tockholm Syndroom?
The main platform that $tockholm Syndroom was based on was the experimental string of consciousness that the main character goes through. Welcome to Amsterdam will bring more realism to the actual situations that the girls find themselves in and explore the feeling of being trapped and enslaved.

Why are issues such as sex trafficking and rape so important for you to portray in your work?
I was first made aware of sex trafficking when my sister was taken more than 10 years ago. The lack of support for the women rescued was devastating. Then I started wondering about all the women that were never saved. The pain of that became so unbearable, I had to do something to help bring light to the issue. Through my adulthood I personally came in contact with rape and it shaped me to be a different person. I want to be able to be a beacon of hope and a sister that can hold any victim’s hand. Someone that understands. I project that in my art. It’s raw. Painful but very real. I don’t shy away from using pain as a tool to make me stronger. It’s a thing I don’t want the industry to ignore anymore.

Where can someone go to support your work?
I have an Indiegogo campaign going right now where you can find out more information about Welcome to Amsterdam and soon $tockholm Syndroom will be out in different film festivals this year.

For more information on the Indiegogo for Welcome to Amsterdam, click here, and for updates on Anne’s work follow her online on Instagram @anneleighcooper and Twitter @anneLCooper.

Watch $tockholm Syndroom here:

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