Film 'Finding Hope' Provides Voice to Victims of Child Marriage

The film "Finding Hope," by screenwriter and director Diane Namm, seeks to shed light on the ongoing practice of child marriage around the world, an issue which the film's press release describes as a "denial of human rights."

"In the quiet corners and the busy streets of our planet, there are children in trouble, teens at risk, vulnerable men and women around the globe whose compelling and extraordinary stories may never be heard," Namm said in a press release for the film, which is being created under the Lady of the Canyon media company.

"After years of world travel and as writing mentor in at-risk facilities [drug rehab centers, group homes, juvenile detention centers], my goal as a writer, a director, a filmmaker and a series creator became clear: to tell the stories of those whose voices are rarely heard," Namm added.

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The film follows the struggle of 13-year-old Esmee Johnson, played by actress Molly Quinn, as she escapes from the confines of marriage to the Rev. Ezra Dobbins, played by actor Chris Mulkey, who serves as the leader of a splinter polygamous sect called the Guardians of the Light.

In the film, Quinn's character must conquer subterfuge to search for a better life beyond child marriage, hence the title of the film, "Finding Hope."

"To actually finally be at this point where we're ready to get this story out to bring awareness to what these girls go through, it's a relief," Quinn said in a "Director's Commentary" video segment for the film's promotion.

As director Namm states on the film's official website, her years working as a writing mentor in group homes and rehabilitation centers has allowed her to provide a voice for those who are not often heard.

The film, which was officially released in late 2011, is currently being re-promoted by its media relations company, the Levine Communications Office, with the hope that all Americans may learn the issue of child marriage that continues throughout the world. 

According to the International Center for Research on Women, which specializes in international gender equitable development, if present trends continue, "142 million girls will marry over the next decade," meaning "38,000 girls married every day for the next 10 years."

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