A simple social media mistake leads one girl down a dangerous path never to be seen again. Rhyon Nicole Brown and Isabella Blake-Thomas (daughter of her director mother, Elizabeth) star as best friends in the new controversial and emotive film, “Unseen”. Scheduled to have its World Premiere on September 6th 2019 in Los Angeles at Arena Cinelounge, ‘Unseen’ will run theatrically for a one-week Oscar-qualifying initial phase.
Writer and director, Elizabeth Blake-Thomas, felt compelled to make a film about child trafficking and fake social media modelling contests after she discovered a moving and emotional insight into the tragedy of real human stories. Promises of fame and fortune are offered to teenagers around the world, but after hearing the story of a girl from Utah, who was abducted and trafficked for five years, before escaping and returning to her family, Elizabeth decided that ‘Unseen’ just had to ‘be seen’.
Just three months after this life-changing experience, the film began shooting and within nine months it was ready for screening. Taking lead roles are Rhyon Nicole Brown (Fox’s Empire) and Isabella Blake-Thomas (Disney’s “Secret Society of Second Born Royals” as well as a role in ABCs “Once Upon a Time”). The talented pair play best friends who come across what seems to be an ordinary modelling contest promoted on social media: but it is not all that it seems.
Writer/director, Elizabeth Blake-Thomas, explains:
“The purpose of my film is to address the role of technology in the facilitation of human trafficking and child exploitation. I didn’t want to show a film that depicted what happens in the trafficking industry, there are plenty of films that show that. I wanted the audience watching to experience what the characters did in the moment. That before they know what’s happened, it’s too late. The trafficking has happened,”
“Unseen” tells the story of child-trafficking from the point of view of the child themselves, lured into danger. It shows how quickly bad things can happen and most importantly, that it could happen to anyone, anywhere. Being a single mum who works hard, director Elizabeth Blake-Thomas wanted to tell the story through a situation that could have easily been her own.
She did not want to portray a family who had drug or physical abuse issues. Rather, she portrays just a normal family with the common issues every family faces; because child trafficking can happen to literally any family, even one where a caring mum tries to do her best and to work hard and make her family’s lives better. More robust and inspiring comment from Elizabeth Blake-Thomas:
“Every parent with a teen knows there are dangers on social media. It’s a scary place. The online wolves can disguise themselves in sheep’s clothing in infinite ways. We must repeatedly discuss online safety with our kids and try to teach them how to be safe. Hopefully, “Unseen” will be a conversation starter. There are no easy answers, and the problem isn’t going away.”
“Unseen” was written, directed and ‘executive produced’ by Elizabeth Blake-Thomas, through her Mother & Daughter Entertainment banner. The film was produced by Mal Young, Larry Schapiro of Nine Yards Entertainment; Francis O’Toole of Mercury Pictures; Timothy Patrick, Maria Capp and associate producer, David Roberson. ‘Unseen’ also stars Yolanda Wood, Rebecca Da Costa, and Hillary Barraford.