Making my first feature-length documentary, What Men Really Want, was an incredible ride. Not only did I get to interview a vast variety of interesting men and women, but I was also brought closer to my family. So as What Men Really Want’s festival circuit was coming to a close, I was excited to begin a new project.
The problem was the subject of this new documentary. I wanted to uphold the mission of OC Films and not just entertain, but also inspire positive change. So while I enjoyed the lighthearted nature of What Men Really Want, this time around I wanted to take on a more serious topic. I had made up my mind that domestic abuse was the best issue to tackle, and I sat down with my friend Cliff Gates, an outreach pastor at a local church, to ask his opinion on it. He told me, “You could make a doc on that, but first, let me tell you about sex trafficking.” By the end of our lunch, Cliff had opened my eyes to a horrific problem.
That lunch with Cliff stayed with me. While I knew that sex trafficking existed in the United States, I hadn’t understood the extent of the issue in Atlanta, and that women were currently being trafficked in my own neighborhood. I was shocked that this was going on in my own backyard, in the suburbs. I wanted to know more. I wanted to know how I could help. Again, I met with Cliff and his wife, Mary, and I was blown away by their sincerity and passion for helping victims of sex trafficking. I knew then what and who my next film would be about, and that’s how Fighting for Hope came to be.
–Bill Collins, Director