New Movie Entertains, Enlightens on the Plight of India’s ‘Untouchables;’ January is Human Trafficking Prevention Month

On a wave of strong praise from advance screenings,NOT TODAY—the first church-made film around an international issue—hits theaters Friday, April 12. (See below for list of debut cities.) In NOT TODAY, a spoiled young American encounters trafficking of children among India’s “untouchables” and is forever changed.

NOT TODAY is the first feature-length, faith-based film to tackle human trafficking, a global disease,” Producer Brent Martz said. “It’s entertainment, yes. But entertainment with world-changing purpose.”

NOT TODAY is produced by Friends Media, an arm of Friends Church of Yorba Linda, Calif., where Martz heads creative ministries. Rising star Cody Longo (Hollywood HeightsFame, Make It or Break It) plays Caden, a spoiled, SoCal rich kid partying in India. On mean city streets, he’s oblivious to the so-called “untouchables” until a young girl sold into slavery draws him into the world of India’s outcast Dalits. Fighting to find her, Caden finds himself and his faith re-energized. Also featured in NOT TODAY: John Schneider (OCTOBER BABY, Smallville, The Dukes of Hazzard), Shari Rigby (OCTOBER BABY, The Bold and the Beautiful) and Cassie Scerbo (Make It or Break It, Hot in Cleveland).

Typical audience response to NOT TODAY, from the advance screening at the 2012 Urbana student missions conference in St. Louis:

  • “Gripping, informative movie that takes you into its world . . . makes you want to get involved to make a difference.”
  • “Everyone should see this film. You cannot walk away unchanged.” 
  • “Heartbreaking and eye-opening . . . I am inspired to make a change.” 
  • “Wow! Should have warned us to bring Kleenex.”

NOT TODAY echoes in daily headlines:

  • Jan. 11 was International Human Trafficking Awareness Day
  • President Barack Obama recently declared January as Human Trafficking Prevention Month in the United States.
  • Louis Giglio, founder of the Passion movement, heavily focused the Passion 2013 conference on the battle against trafficking and the support of exploited people.

And stark statistics underscore growing concern around the globe:

  • An estimated 27 million people worldwide are in forced labor including sexual exploitation as a result of trafficking. SOURCE: U.N. Global Initiative to Fight Human Trafficking
  • Profits from all trafficked forced labor: estimated $31.6 billion/year. SOURCE: U.N. Global Initiative to Fight Human Trafficking

India’s Dalit population is among the world’s most vulnerable to the global industry in human abuse:

  • More than 1.2 million children in India are trapped in human trafficking as child prostitutes. SOURCE: National Underground Railroad Freedom Center India Conference

“For centuries Dalits, the ‘lowest of the low,’ have grown up believing they are less than animals,” said Matthew Cork, NOT TODAY executive producer and lead pastor of Friends Church. “Christianity tells them they are made in the image of God.”

Using education to lift Dalit lives and prospects, Friends Church has committed $20 million to build 200 of 1,000 proposed schools for Dalit children in the coming decade. Friends already has funded more than 40 of the current 107 schools. Profits from NOT TODAY go toward building schools and freeing children.

NOT TODAY premieres across the nation April 12 in these markets:

Los Angeles (Orange County), Calif.
Houston, Texas
San Diego, Calif.
Dallas, Texas
San Jose, Calif.
San Francisco, Calif.
Columbus, Ohio
Seattle, Wash.
Denver (Littleton), Colo.
Washington, D.C.
Nashville, Tenn.
Portland, Ore.
Sacramento, Calif.
Virginia Beach, Va.
Atlanta, Ga.
Colorado Springs, Colo.
Orlando, Fla.
Akron, Ohio
Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
West Palm Beach/Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.

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