January 20, 2021 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

City Council Has Appointed An 11 Member Civilian Police Oversight Commission: Santa Monica Beat – January, 17, 2021

January 19, 2021

January 19, 2021

Local news and culture in under 5 minutes. * City Council Has Appointed An 11 Member Civilian Police Oversight Commission...

Edify TV: Ticketing Maskless Angelenos?

January 19, 2021

January 19, 2021

Los Angeles lawmakers want to fine people for not wearing masks. Learn more in this video made possible by School...

Santa Monica Pier to Close, Farmers Market Shortened for Inauguration Day

January 19, 2021

January 19, 2021

Library curbside service suspended as well By Sam Catanzaro Santa Monica is closing the Pier and shortening the farmers market’s...

Santa Monica Pier Ferris Wheel to Turn Amber as Part of Nationwide COVID-19 Memorial

January 18, 2021

January 18, 2021

Pacific Park joins nationwide COVID-19 memorial Tuesday night By Chad Winthrop The Santa Monica Pier ferris wheel will light up...

Video: 25K New Housing Units in LA?

January 17, 2021

January 17, 2021

With a massive spike in homelessness forecasted, LA lawmakers want to build 25,000 new housing units. Learn more in this...

Edify TV: Overhaul for Canyon Property?

January 15, 2021

January 15, 2021

A unique Santa Monica Canyon property may be getting an overhaul. Learn more in this video made possible by School...

Edify TV: The Westside’s Best Pies

January 14, 2021

January 14, 2021

Here are some of the best pies on the Westside ahead of National Pie Day on January 23. Learn more...

City Council Votes Mayor Himmelrich And Team To Keep Council Positions: Santa Monica Beat – January, 14, 2021

January 14, 2021

January 14, 2021

Local news and culture in under 5 minutes. * City Council Votes Mayor Himmelrich And Team To Keep Council Positions...

65-Year-Old Santa Monica Bakery on Verge of Shutting Down

January 14, 2021

January 14, 2021

Westside Food Scene January 14, 2021 By Kerry Slater 65-Year-Old Santa Monica Bakery on Verge of Shutting Down  A beloved...

Food Review: The Westside’s Insanely Delicious Tijuana Tacos

January 14, 2021

January 14, 2021

Tacos 1986 in Westwood Village stands out amid a crowded taco scene By Kerry Slater In a city filled with...

Santa Monica Pier Closed for Five Days in a Row

January 13, 2021

January 13, 2021

City cites warm weather forecasted for Santa Monica By Sam Catanzaro With temperatures reaching the 80s expected, city officials are...

Edify TV: Westside Kids Compete to Keep Beach Clean

January 12, 2021

January 12, 2021

Westside kids are competing to keep the beach clean! Learn more in this video made possible by Santa Monica College.

Santa Monica Fire Department Rolls Out Vaccinations

January 12, 2021

January 12, 2021

SMFD helps with rollout across county  By Chad Winthrop Beginning this month , Santa Monica Fire Department firefighters and paramedics...

SMC and MLK Westside Coalition’s 36th Annual Celebration of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

January 12, 2021

January 12, 2021

Mon, Jan 18, 9:00 AM – 11:00 AM Online Only at 9am on Jan. 18th – Visit: MLKjrWestside.org  The Rev. Dr....