March 2, 2024 Breaking News, Latest News, and Videos

Santa Monican Launches Fundraising Campaign For Human Trafficking Film:

By Peter Barent Lewis

She was a child star in Europe, obtained a Master’s degree at an early age, and then, just as life was shining brightly before her, everything turned dark. She became a missing person for nearly three years, a victim of human trafficking, a captive slave.

Now recovered from her ordeal, and with a revived career as an actress, Santa Monica resident Marie Paquim is raising funds to tell her story in her film, “Land of the Free, Except for Me” through the crowd-funding site, Indiegogo.

From The Heart Productions, a partner with Indiegogo, has agreed to provide fiscal sponsorship for Paquim’s film. Indiegogo provides a platform for filmmakers to present their project to the public and raise much needed capital.

Like her film company’s motto, Paquim’s certainly is a “story that must be told.”

Paquim is bravely taking on the lead role herself, to be an inspiration for others.

“I want people to feel my pain,” Paquim said. “How it feels to be a slave. To be a slave is to be alone.”

When she disappeared, Marie says, her mother, a famous Fado singer in Portugal, stopped singing, and her father, a professional dancer, stopped dancing.

“It’s not just me who suffered,” says Marie. “It was my parents.”

Like all victims of this terrible worldwide epidemic, the pain is passed on to those they leave behind.

Referring to the ironic title of her film, she adds, “How many except for me’s are out there?”

“The numbers are in fact staggering, from an estimate of 27 million just a few years ago, it has now risen to well over 30 million slaves world wide,” she said. “And, it is now the second black market in America.”

Remembering her inspiration and goals, Paquim, after her rescue chose to return to Los Angeles with her rescuer and boyfriend at that time, to resurrect her acting career. Ironically, Paquim, though she had multi-lingual ability, did not speak English when she was taken captive in Los Angeles.

She took six months of ESL at Santa Monica College, then jumped to English One.

“One of my teachers asked, ‘Are you an actress? Or are you a writer? Because you’re so good, you just pick up language so easily.’ And I said, ‘Well, I studied Latin. And English, ironically, they call a Germanic language, but actually 60 percent of English is Latin. So for me it was easy to learn.”

And now, in her own film, “Land of the Free, Except for Me,” she pays homage to all those who helped her not only survive, but thrive.

Several characters are based on people from real life, including her own mother, who is, like Paquim, to play herself in the film.

“Mom is in film to show that evil does not always win,” Paquim says. “Love always wins, if you believe it.”

And now that journey has led to the making of a feature film, a story written, Paquim says, “from the heart… I’m stripping my soul to the bone with this film. I’m showing my anger, my frustrations, my fears, my hopes, my dreams. And I hope it serves as an inspiration. This film is for everybody. I’ve always thought it’s possible to change someone. I believe music, and images have the power to do that.”

Her film is meant to be that “wake up call,” to fight for something most Americans have taken for granted for over two hundred years: freedom.

Her film, she says, is being made to support those grand ideals of its forefathers, to make this now more than ever, truly a “Land of the Free.”

People who wish to donate to the project visit www.Indiegogo.com, and search for “Land of the Free, Except for Me.” Or, to go directly to the page, visit http://igg.me/at/landofthefreeexceptforme.

in News
Related Posts

Construction Alert: Topanga Canyon Boulevard Faces Nightly Closures Starting March 4

March 1, 2024

March 1, 2024

Caltrans Announces 18-Mile Project Spanning Chatsworth to PCH Commuters in the Los Angeles area should prepare for significant delays as...

Film Review: Nyad

February 29, 2024

February 29, 2024

FILM REVIEWNYADRated PG-13121 MinutesReleased November 3rdOscar Nominations: Best Leading Actress, Best Supporting Actress “I failed many times, but I can...

Security Officers Being Deployed at Big Blue Bus Stations and Routes

February 29, 2024

February 29, 2024

The Guards will be provided by a firm with other security contracts with the city of Santa Monica  By Zach...

Leap Day Brings Once-in-Four-Year Deals at Popular Restaurants All Day Long

February 28, 2024

February 28, 2024

Krispy Kreme, Dunkin’, and More Roll Out Special Offers to Mark the Occasion Leap Day, that rare additional day occurring...

Sweet Lady Jane’s Social Media Tease Continues As Locations Sport Hiring Notices

February 28, 2024

February 28, 2024

Mysterious Posts Leave Fans Eager for the Return, But Questions Linger By Dolores Quintana After resurfacing on social media, the...

Upcoming Ice Cream Shop on Montana Ave. Will Serve Multitude of Vegan Flavors

February 28, 2024

February 28, 2024

The Company Has Come a Long Way Since Its Humble Beginnings as a New York City Food Truck By Zach...

(Video) Pro-Palestine Protest at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel

February 28, 2024

February 28, 2024

Protesters were there to protest the arrival of U.S. Representative Nancy Pelosi Counter-protesters drove by in a car. @smmirrornews Pro-Palestine...

(Video) Restaurants Replace Glass Front Doors After Late Night Robbery Spree in Del Ray

February 28, 2024

February 28, 2024

Seven restaurants and small businesses in Del Rey and Venice, including Nick the Greek and Dudley Market, were robbed. Council...

SMMUSD Appoints New Asst. Superintendent of Education Services

February 27, 2024

February 27, 2024

Dr. Williamson Will Assume Her Role on March 8, Bringing 17 Years of Education Experience In a special board meeting...

Hollywood Royalty to Shine at 96th Oscars: First Wave of Star-Studded Presenter Lineup Unveiled

February 27, 2024

February 27, 2024

Incredible Lineup of Actors and Previous Oscar Winners Announced Executive producer and showrunner Raj Kapoor, along with executive producers Molly...

Vote Smart, Vote Early: Streamlining Your 2024 Presidential Primary Experience in L.A. County

February 27, 2024

February 27, 2024

Skip the Lines and Save Time – Your Guide to Early Voting Options  In preparation for the upcoming 2024 Presidential...

Iconic Venice Beach Sculpture and Landmark to be Removed, Returned to Artist’s Property

February 27, 2024

February 27, 2024

Since the Money, Effort or Desire to Purchase the Piece Appears to Not Be There, the Artist Wants It Back...

(Video) Heartfelt candlelight vigils in Westchester and West Hollywood for Nex Benedict

February 27, 2024

February 27, 2024

The non-binary 16 year old student with Choctaw ancestry died in Owasso, Oklahoma after being beaten by three older high...

Sweet Lady Jane Sparks Hope of Return – Popular Bakery Hints at Reopening Across LA

February 27, 2024

February 27, 2024

After Abrupt Closures, Beloved Bakery Hints at a Comeback, Leaving Fans Intrigued  Sweet Lady Jane, a Los Angeles cake bakery...

Waymo’s LA Expansion Hits Roadblock: CPUC Temporarily Halts Self-Driving Company’s Plans

February 26, 2024

February 26, 2024

California Public Utilities Commission suspends Waymo’s service expansion for 120 days. California’s Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) has put a temporary...