The Short Film that Changed Everything...

Recently I've been wanting to be more open and share some personal things on this blog.  I've always wanted IRIS to be about being real and authentic, and I guess I thought that everything I share should be showing our work- but I changed my mind. 

So I want to tell you about the film that changed my life:

In 2011, I watched The Candy Shop.

The Candy Shop is a narrative-style short film about the sexual exploitation of children. It's beautifully shot, well edited, the costumes and wardrobe are fantastic- but most of all, it had a powerful message. 

It wasn't like one of those videos that make you feel guilty so you will donate; it didn't show a lot of gross images that keep you up at night. It was a story, a fairytale, that drove the message home. 

At the end of it, they show you the stats of how many children are trafficked through the Atlanta area alone- along with a bunch of other stats that start becoming blurry because your eyes are welling up with tears. Yes, I definitely cried, and then showed the film to everyone I could. 

Approximately 500 children are trafficked for sex in Georgia every month.
— Street GRACE

That's what I want to do.  I want to create narrative films that make an impact, that actually mean something, make people do something about it. Those were my first thoughts after finishing the film. 

And every day since, my heart aches to reach that goal. If you know of a way we can get involved, please, PLEASE contact us! We wish it was as easy as picking up a camera and shooting.

Now, if you'll do me one more favor, please watch this 30 minute film, it's too important not to: 

Jimmy Balcom’s new job selling newspapers is a God-send to a kid working hard to help his family survive during the depression. But then Jimmy figures out what’s happening in the candy shop across the street. And he is confronted with a choice that no twelve-year-old should ever have to face. Giving his family a better life, or keeping his soul. Doug Jones (Pan's Labyrinth, Hellboy) stars as the Candy Shop owner in this original film from Whitestone Motion Pictures in conjunction with Street Grace. The Candy Shop is a film initiative to help fight against child sex trafficking. This film is being made for the Doorpost Film Project, and with support from 12Stone® Church and Street Grace. The Candy Shop is a Fairytale/Parable about the child sex trafficking epidemic that has overrun our city of Atlanta. We are using the film to not only raise awareness but provoke meaningful action towards this issue taking place in our own backyard. Up to 500 underaged girls a month are trafficked for sex here in our city of Atlanta. It’s the number one city in the country for child sex trafficking.. The 10th in the world. This plague has gone on for too long, and now we at Whitestone, in cooperation with Doorpost, 12Stone® Church and StreetGrace want to put a stop to it. This film represents the spearhead of a citywide and possibly a nationwide campaign. It is not a documentary. It is not a PSA. It is the beginning of a movement. Visit the Street Grace website to find out more information and get involved directly. www.stopthecandyshop.com www.whitestonemotionpictures.com www.streetgrace.org Find all sorts of Behind the Scenes goodies here: vimeo.com/13789322, vimeo.com/13935294, vimeo.com/14148829, vimeo.com/14783884, vimeo.com/14964423, vimeo.com/14530480