PROVO, Utah — Devout Christian actor Jim Caviezel, who stars in the upcoming film "Sound of Freedom," is calling on 2 million people to stand with him and expose the evil of child exploitation and trafficking.
Scheduled for release on July 4, “Sound of Freedom" tells the true story of one man's journey to combat child sex trafficking. The studio behind the film, Angel Studios, unveiled the first trailer at their Illuminate event on Thursday.
"God’s children are not for sale," the actor declares in the trailer.
Caviezel then delivered a call to action for anyone willing to buy a ticket to see the film and raise awareness against this prevalent form of slavery.
“We know this is heartbreaking and it hurts to look at, but the first step in helping these children is hearing their story. Not enough people know this problem exists and even fewer people are willing to do anything about it,” Caviezel declared.
“Our goal is to inspire 2 million people to attend the film's opening weekend to represent the 2 million trafficked children around the world."
The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime defines human trafficking as any situation in which someone experiences “force, coercion, abduction, fraud, deception, abuse of power or vulnerability, or giving payments or benefits to a person in control.”
The International Labour Organization reports that human trafficking is a $150 billion per year industry worldwide, and that around 21 million people in the modern world are enslaved.
“To spread the word, Angel Studios set up a pay-it-forward program where you can pay for someone else’s ticket who might not otherwise see it,” Caviezel said. “If the ticket price is stopping you from attending, claim your free ticket.”
The entertainer encouraged families to attend together and even said teenagers should be brought along as well.
“Sound of Freedom” is based on the life of Tim Ballard, a former U.S. agent who battles human trafficking after rescuing a little boy whose sister remained captive to traffickers and was sent to Colombia.
Caviezel is joined on screen by Oscar winner Mira Sorvino (“The Final Cut”), Bill Camp (“12 Years a Slave”), José Zúñiga (“Twilight”), and Eduardo Verástegui (“Unplanned”) who is the film's producer. Alejandro Monteverde (“Bella,” “Little Boy”) is the writer and director of the film.
The film was rejected by multiple Hollywood studios but Angel Studios acquired worldwide distribution rights earlier this year.
Angel Studios is a platform for filmmakers to collaborate with the audience and bring projects to life by crowdfunding. It currently creates and distributes films and TV series worldwide and is known as the studio behind “The Chosen” and “Dry Bar Comedy.”
Angel Studios CEO Neal Harmon said his company feels a responsibility to take action and answer the prayers of the 2 million children around the world who are crying for freedom.
While unveiling the trailer at Illuminate 2023, the CEO shared a recent story of his conversation with filmmaker Monteverde who told him that he was passing the baton to Angel Studios and all of the angel investors.
“I entrust 'Sound of Freedom' to you,” Harmon said. “Now that we have at Angel Studios this responsibility, we want to answer the prayers of children as soon as possible.”
Angel Studios chose to release “Sound of Freedom” on July 4 to make the message clear, despite industry experts telling them not to compete with the summer releases.
“We have the honor of answering the prayers of these children,” Harmon said, in tears.
He believes that if 2 million people show up to theaters to support this powerful film, “The world will not be able to ignore that message!”
Caviezel told Variety in a recent interview that he considers the movie to be "the second most important film I’ve done after ‘The Passion Of The Christ.'"
Jeannie Ortega Law is a reporter for The Christian Post. Reach her at: firstname.lastname@example.org She's also the author of the book, What Is Happening to Me? How to Defeat Your Unseen Enemy Follow her on Twitter: @jlawcp Facebook: JeannieOMusic