Benin city is a town in Edo state, Nigeria, and one of the oldest civilizations in Africa. In the last few decades, it has become a crime epicenter and where the oldest recording of human trafficking in the country and started the journey by road to Europe. This project investigates the lives of the victims of these heinous crimes and eventually finds ways to reeducate the people of Nigeria & Africa and document the struggles faced by women of our country.

The concept is to have this documentary deliver a story telling approach as we dive into the personal encounters of our subjects. The aim is to humanize and educate Nigerians towards the realities of fellow citizens on a subject which is generally relegated to foreign media.

In this Docuseries, we’ll be exploring the problems that drive the youth of Benin from Nigeria and investigating if the friends and family are the ones encouraging the youth to risk their lives and end up in thousands of euros of debt and in most cases, Death.

In a bid to properly encapsulate this documentary to the world we shall plan, prepare and schedule our subjects and visuals to be captured - interviews, location visits and background research. More so, we will combine stunning visuals with music and emotive words.

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A personal testimony by a young woman named Kate was trafficked from Nigeria when she was only 13 years old. She worked as a prostitute for 5 years on the streets of Paris after being lied to by a couple who were meant to be in charge of her safety. In 5 years paid a sum of 35,000 euros to her madam. On the trip from Nigeria, she explained they had traveled by road and the boat was wrecked containing 60 passengers, 20 women, and one pregnant; they all died on this journey. Kate was the only survivor. Imagine a child going through such hardship and seeing death and the wickedness of the world only to be trafficked?

How insensitive.

“People need to know what is going on,” she said in court. The lack of humanity and the sheer ruthlessness of our fellow humans to subject women to such horrible experiences and capped off with childhood trauma and possible sexual health problems or diseases. And to what end?

Our plan is to humanize and educate Nigerians towards the realities of fellow countrymen because we behave so desensitized to these issues as they don’t affect us personally. In this Docu-series, we’ll be exploring the hardship that drives the youth of Benin from their home and investigating if the friends and family are the ones encouraging our youth to risk their lives and end up thousands of euros in debt or even worse, dead. We will be looking for survivors, the dead, and the dying.

We chose to fight for the voiceless because of their fear and trauma. That's why we’re doing this, for justice, for the freedom of our youth to make peace with the country that we have, and to start the change from home instead of running away. Ultimately our goal is to show and tell fellow Nigerians that justice can be served and accessible to us and no good can come out of dying for absolutely nothing. I know a lot of human trafficking documentaries have been made already, but why hasn’t anyone been imprisoned, deported, and flagged by Interpol? We need these people apprehended and block all the channels that could possibly feel any sort of avenue to encourage any level of trafficking. There are countless stories like Kates and a lot who did not make it back, we have to work together to end this madness.

Part 1.

NORMALIZATION & JUDGEMENT.

In this Docu-series, we’ll be exploring the problems that drive the youth of Benin from Nigeria and investigating if the friends and family are the ones encouraging our youth to risk their lives and end up in thousands of euros in debt or even die in the process? Understanding the core of the reason why people are motivated and convinced that leaving the country guarantees a better life regardless of the circumstances.

  • Talking to the indigenous people of Benin to differentiate and explore both sides of the spectrum, the reasons why people encourage and why the others think otherwise.
  • Involving parents and families of victims/survivors or families looking for their children and sisters.
  • Understanding why families are willing to encourage and facilitate their children leaving in the hopes of finding greener pastures and some even blindsiding their children knowing fully what exactly they're getting into.
  • Convents and sisters around Benin are taking responsibility to shelter some of the women who they can find and are willing to be taken in, it would be interesting to know how many women they have been able to save and the insane story/cases they have encountered.
  • What is the government's perspective of all this? Are they oblivious or just silent?

Part 2.

FEAR & TRAUMA.

It's easy to overlook the mental and physical health of a victim and assume they’re fine or getting better but how true is that? We don't know much about the future of victims after making it back and we should all be worried.

  • Exploring the mental health traumas of victims and survivors of these heinous crimes
  • What is the situation being trafficked like?
  • What happens with life after being trafficked, what really is the way forward and how does one heal from this?
  • Advice to the general public about not getting into things that seem too good to be true, in the end, all that glitters isn't gold.
  • Many people have made it back?
  • Who are these madams or people taking women and what do they say?
  • How can we protect the women of Benin from predators?
  • What kind of threats were made to keep these women from speaking up?
  • What was the oath-taking process and what happened?
  • Where do the madams live abroad?
  • Is it possible that these organized crime units are bribing local and international law enforcement and immigration personnel and what do they have to say about the rising criminal and trafficking rate?
  • What is everyday life like pre, through, and post being trafficked?
  • Did these women have friends who made it back or ones who died in the process of trying to escape?
  • What is life living in a country without having legal documentation while running away from police officers and still trying to make money to take back to the madam?

PART 3.

RAPE, DRUGS & GUNS.

Understanding how criminal organizations are linked to human trafficking.

  • Exploring how these criminals are linked to the madams and how the percentages work and how much is being made based on every girl being acquired by these people.
  • Are the madams also the pimps and are the pimps the drug dealers?
  • Are these women being trafficked used as drug mules as well as sex slaves?
  • Investigating the increased crime rate in Castel Volturno in the south of Italy where apparently is the base of these criminals and usually where the girls are put to work on the streets of Italy.
  • Is the fact that the Italians don’t rule prostitution as a legal crime give room for the increase in victims who are subjected to sex work?
  • Does the Nigerian mafia really have a base in Italy and are they the ones in charge of funding the trips by road to Italy for their own pleasure and labor?
  • How many women have been deported so far and where are they being deported to?
  • Exploring the lack of safety and chances of being raped, robbed, and killed on the way to getting to Europe only for it to happen over and over again while constant threats are being sent to friends and family.

**This documentary is dedicated to all the ones we’ve lost, the ones who will never be found and the untold stories, and to the ones we have found who have lost their souls one way or another, are scarred and will never be the same again.

PLANNING

During this stage, we will map out the required subjects to be interviewed and the locations to be used. The research phase is important as we will gather information from our prospective subjects which are imperative for developing a captivating story.

EXECUTION

After adequate planning, our dedicated schedule will dictate time, locations, and subjects. A well-organized program aids in easing the post-production process. It guides us in developing a structured story to be delivered to the audience.

3 KEY SECTIONS

Part One | Normalization & Judgement, Part Two | Fear & Trauma, Part Three | Rape, Drugs & Guns.

LOCATIONS

  • Lagos
  • Benin

Three-Part Docu-series.

FOR JUSTICE, FOR THE FREEDOM OF OUR YOUTH.

USING THE 3 STAGE FILM PRODUCTION PROCESS, WE AIM TO ARRIVE AT A CAPTIVATING STORY THAT PUSHES THE ENVELOPE IN THE FIGHT AGAINST HUMAN TRAFFICKING.

PRE-PRODUCTION ONE MONTH

Research + Planning Story Development + Pre-Production Meeting.

PRODUCTION ONE MONTH

Principal Photography + B-Rolls Locations
Subjects

POST-PRODUCTION ONE MONTH

Editing + Grading Music + Sound + Rights Subtitles + Credits

BUDGET.

PRE-PRODUCTION

This would cover script development, research in both Lagos and Benin, and production meetings.

PRODUCTION

this includes 16 days of shooting in Benin and Lagos, travel cost, accommodation, the welfare of the crew, logistics, and transportation, types of equipment (2 camera kits, monitors, light kit, sound kit, drones, HDDs), local contact, and security.

POST PRODUCTION

this would cover editing & grading, sound, subtitles, music & rights.

CREW

director, producers, DoP, production manager, gaffer, sparks, sound man, camera assistant.

Any extra contributions would be used towards the rehabilitation and well-being of the victims and as many rehabilitation centers we encounter on this journey.

All contributions over 1 ETH will 20% will be going directly to support a start-up for a victim or towards education and contributions to agencies; MIST, FIZ & FEMME.CO.