Backstage Pass with Lia Chang

July 24: Sold to Open 37th Asian American International Film Festival in New York

sold42SOLD, the story of an extraordinary thirteen-year-old girl living in a poor village in Nepal who becomes a victim of human trafficking and must risk everything to escape, will be the Opening Night Presentation of the 37th annual Asian American International Film Festival. Asian CineVision is hosting the film on July 24th, 2014 at the Asia Society and again on July 26th, 2014 at the Village Cinema East.

SOLD is based on the acclaimed and award-winning international best seller by Patricia McCormick, it has been translated into 32 languages and is frequently the book that introduces young people to the issue of modern day slavery. SOLD covers the urgent issue of human trafficking and modern slave trade in India.

Co-writer and Director Jeffrey D. Brown has won numerous awards including an Emmy for CBS Schoolbreak Special and an Academy Award for his short film MOLLY’S PILGRIM. SOLD is his first feature length film. In talking about his interest in realizing SOLD as a film and cinematic experience, director Brown says, “I have a strong connection to India because my step-father was Indian and I traveled there when I was ten. I will never forget that experience… For me, reading SOLD was like reading a song/prayer/poem – I felt called to tell this story on film.” Brown drew inspiration from the Academy-Award-winning documentary, BORN INTO BROTHELS.

Executive producer and two-time Academy Award-winner Emma Thompson believes that, “Because of ‘Sold’s marvelous script and courageous and brilliant cast, it is a story that we can all watch – so that we may understand the processes of slavery in modern India and feel able to act without feeling the kind of rage and hopelessness that gets in the way of doing anything,”

Producer Jane Charles has 20+ years in the film industry and produced many feature films including SOLD. As a member of the Directors Guild of Canada, Charles worked in production on the original Stephen Cannell shows “21 Jump Street,” “Booker,” “Wise Guy,” “Neon Rider”, and the feature films “Bird On A Wire”, “Run” and “Pure Luck”, as well as several TV movies.

“We are deeply moved by this intense, emotional story of one girl’s quest for freedom,” says John Carson Woo, the executive director of Asian CineVision and the Asian American International Film Festival, “The film covers the urgent social and global issue, but it is a powerful film with extraordinary execution that both exposes the unimaginable hardship of the victims, yet highlights the dignity in them. The story telling craftsmanship and pressing moral issues makes SOLD a film AAIFF is proud to present.”

In conjunction with the film, Wishing Tree Fund has been established to give grants to NGOs who have had made a difference in the lives of trafficked children in India and Nepal. A portion of the film’s profits will also be given to this fund.

Ticket Price for Opening Night Gala
$150 VIP All-Stars
Exclusive VIP reception before the film screening, Opening Night Presentation priority seating, Q&A with filmmaker and artist, Gala reception with chef’s tasting tables, open bar, raffle & silent auction, and Gala gift bag

$75 Regular Admissions | $65 Students/Seniors/Disabled | $50 Members
Screening, Q&A with filmmaker and artist, Gala reception with chef’s tasting tables, open bar, and Gala gift bag

Click here to purchase tickets.

The film screening will be followed by a Q & A with director Jeffrey D. Brown and Producer Jane Charles and a reception at Asia Society.

About Jeffrey D. Brown and Emma Thompson

Jeffrey D. Brown studied film at Tisch School of the Arts at NYU. His first short with dialogue was an adaptation of a book called “Molly’s Pilgrim.” The dramatic short won an Academy Award in 1986. As a director, Brown has won numerous awards including an Emmy (for an After School Special), a Peabody, a Cine Golden Eagle, among others. He has directed 17 hours of episodic television shows such as: “The Wonder Years,” “LA Law” and “Hooperman. “ He has also directed over 200 commercials. He Executive Produced and co-wrote with Finn Taylor; “Pontiac Moon” for Paramount and co-wrote and co-produced “Dream with the Fishes,” an indie that premiered at Sundance.

Two-time Academy Award-winner Emma Thompson, numbers among her considerable acting credits such films as “Henry V,” “Howards End,” for which she won the Oscar as Best Actress, “Much Ado About Nothing,” “The Remains of The Day,” “In The Name Of The Father,” “Junior,” “Carrington,” “Sense and Sensibility,” for which she won a Best Screenplay Oscar, “Primary Colors,” “Love Actually,” “Pirate Radio,” three Harry Potter films and, most recently, “Saving Mr. Banks.” A many-faceted talent, Thompson, wrote and starred in two successful “Nanny McPhee“ features, and also has notable television credits both in America and in the U.K. In addition to serving as executive producer on SOLD, Thompson also produced “Nanny McPhee Returns,” and executive produced “The Journey.”

As the first and longest running film festival of its kind in USA, AAIFF proudly celebrates its 37th edition in 2014. For over three decades, AAIFF has played a leading role to introduce important Asian American and Asian artists to New York audiences by premiering works by filmmakers such as Cui Zi’en, Lav Diaz, Marilou Diaz-Abaya, Ann Hui, Michael Kang, Eric Khoo, Mira Nair, Pang Ho-cheung, Park Chan- wook, Rea Tajiri, Johnnie To, Tsui Hark, Wayne Wang, Edward Yang and Zhang Yang. The Festival also spotlighted films by Oscar-winning artists including Christine Choy, Keiko Ibi, Ang Lee, and Jessica Yu. For a glimpse of 2013’s festival, check out:

Other articles by Lia Chang:
Joe Mantegna, Delta Burke, Gerald McRaney, President Bill Clinton and More Remember Meshach Taylor
Photos: Meshach Taylor Celebrates 67th Birthday with Arlene and Joe Mantegna, Delta Burke, Gerald McRaney, Jean Smart, Dennis Franz, Ernie Hudson, John Heard, Keith Szarabajka, Stuart Gordon, Shadoe Stevens and More
June 22 – July 27: Blair Underwood, Richard Thomas and Kristen Connolly Lead the Cast of The Old Globe’s Othello, helmed by Barry Edelstein 
Late Night Singing with Garth Kravits at 54 Below with The Skivvies, at Jim Caruso’s Cast Party at Birdland and Michael Raye’s Soul Gathering
Photos and Video: Ben Vereen Performs at Carnegie Hall in The Black Stars of The Great White Way Broadway Reunion: Live The Dream
Photos and Video: Obba Babatunde and cast members from the original cast of Dreamgirls perform at Carnegie Hall in The Black Stars of The Great White Way Broadway Reunion: Live The Dream
Photos & Video: The Wiz’s André De Shields Sang “So You Wanted to Meet the Wizard” in The Black Stars of The Great White Way Broadway Reunion: Live The Dream at Carnegie Hall
June 23: André De Shields, Billy Porter, Chuck Cooper, Brandon Victor Dixon, Clifton Davis, Norm Lewis, Chapman Roberts and More Set for The Black Stars of The Great White Way Broadway Reunion: Live The Dream at Carnegie Hall
Bryan Cranston, Audra McDonald, Neil Patrick Harris, Jessie Mueller, Lena Hall, Sophie Okonedo, Kenny Leon, A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder, All The Way, A Raisin in the Sun, Hedwig and the Angry Inch and More Take Home 2014 Tony Awards
Lucille Lortel Awards for Here Lies Love, Fun Home, The Open House, Good Person of Szechwan
Branden Jacob-Jenkins’ Appropriate, Lisa Kron’s Fun Home, Sonya Tayeh, Emmanuel Brown, Mia Katigbak, K. Todd Freeman, John Earl Jelks Among 2014 OBIE Award Winners
Photos: André Braugher, Ami Brabson, Christine Toy Johnson, Antoinette LaVecchia, Richard Topol, Victor Williams, Nikkole Salter, Elizabeth Van Dyke at Oni Faida Lampley’s Tough Titty at the Paradise Factory
Signature Theatre to Be Honored with the 2014 Regional Theatre Tony Award Photos: Backstage and Opening Night of Signature’s World Premiere of David Henry Hwang’s Kung Fu
Photos: David Henry Hwang, Annie Baker and Rajiv Joseph honored at Sixth Annual Steinberg Playwright “Mimi” Awards Photos: The 58th Annual Drama Desk Awards and After Party
Crafting a Career
Click here for the Lia Chang Articles Archive and here for the Lia Chang Photography Website.

Lia Chang

Lia Chang

Lia Chang is an actor, a performance and fine art botanical photographer, and an award-winning multi-platform journalist. Lia recently starred as Carole Barbara in Lorey Hayes’ Power Play at the 2013 National Black Theatre Festival in Winston-Salem, N.C., with Pauletta Pearson Washington, Roscoe Orman, Lorey Hayes, Marcus Naylor and Phynjuar, and made her jazz vocalist debut in Rome Neal’s Banana Puddin’ Jazz “LADY” at the Nuyorican Poets Cafe in New York.  She is profiled in Jade Magazine. All text, graphics, articles & photographs: © 2000-2014 Lia Chang Multimedia. All rights reserved. All materials contained on this site are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of Lia Chang. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content. For permission, please contact Lia at

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