‘Sound of Freedom’ film exposes child trafficking

Sound of Freedom stars Jim Caviezel (Passion of the Christ) who said the film’s release abroad exceeded all expectations. Picture: Supplied.

Sound of Freedom stars Jim Caviezel (Passion of the Christ) who said the film’s release abroad exceeded all expectations. Picture: Supplied.

Published Aug 13, 2023


Johannesburg - While South African audiences eagerly await the release of ‘Sound of Freedom’, an international “Pay it Forward” campaign is making it possible for more people to see it. The independent film, which shines a very bright spotlight on child trafficking, intricately weaves the remarkable true story of a former government agent’s evolution into a vigilant champion.

The first 50 000 tickets are now available for South Africa, providing people who can’t afford cinema tickets the opportunity to see it at one of the 43 cinemas releasing the film. There is also the option to donate to the Campaign. Dubbed the, “sleeper hit,” of the year by critics internationally who did not foresee the remarkable success that it has achieved at the American and European box offices.

“Sound of Freedom” chronicles Tim Ballard’s daring mission to rescue a multitude of children ensnared within the depths of human trafficking. Jim Caviezel, who portrayed Jesus, in Mel Gibson’s 2004 movie, ‘The Passion of the Christ’, plays Ballard in the movie.The film’s production house, Angel Studios, launched the unconventional, grassroots, “Pay it Forward” initiative to help people get to cinemas to see the film, and help spread awareness for the cause globally. This initiative has now been extended to South Africa with a portion of the donations made in America. Caviezel said the call to action at the end of the trailer is to help people hear the story of trafficking children.

“Our goal is to inspire two million people to attend the film’s opening weekend to represent the two million trafficked children around the world. Angel Studios set up a pay it forward program where you can pay for someone else’s ticket who might not otherwise see it. If the ticket price is preventing you from attending, claim your free ticket. So far the two million goal has been exceeded and is on fourteen and a half million tickets and counting,” he said.

The film’s South African distributor, Gravel Road Distribution Group, launched a local campaign, #PayItForwardAngels, and set a target to raise 10 000 tickets from local corporates, for those who cannot afford to see the film in cinemas, through this campaign. As the population dynamics and circumstances are somewhat different to the USA, some of the funds raised will also go towards covering the cost of transport to get certain communities to and from the cinemas. Gravel Road will coordinate the allocation of these tickets with organisations working in under-served areas.

CEO of the Gravel Road Distribution Group, Benjamin Cowley said: “Sound of Freedom tells an important story, one that all too often is hidden in alternative media. Child trafficking is a worldwide phenomenon and it is estimated that there are more people in slavery today, than ever before. I hope that through this campaign, as many South Africans can see this film as possible.”

South African audiences wishing to pledge or participate in the, #PayItForwardAngels campaign can go to this website for more information on how to donate: https://www.gravelroadafrica.com/payitforward, or or visit participating Ster Kinekor, Nu Metro and Cine Centre cinemas once the film releases on August 18, scan the QR codes displayed in the cinema foyers (just look out for #PayItForwardAngels signage). South Africans who cannot afford the price of a ticket, can also go to this site to apply for a free ticket, https://www.gravelroadafrica.com/payitforward.

The site generates a unique code per person which can be used to book a ticket online at Ster-Kinekor cinemas, or on site at Nu Metro and Cine Centre cinemas.