Four lives converge throughout this interlocking story of unsuspecting teenagers thrust into the world of sex trafficking in America.


(sponsored by Artists United for Social Justice, a 501c3)

100,000+ young children annually in the United States are forced, manipulated, and lured into child trafficking and some form of commercial sexual exploitation.          

                        BE A PART OF THE SOLUTION! 

The purpose of the IST campaign is to increase awareness about child trafficking and child exploitation of American children by creating and distributing cause related multi-media. The IST campaign uses that awareness to support our partnering organizations' initiatives to prevent, rehabilitate, and support victims which are conducted in three phases:

  • PHASE 1:  Awareness & Prevention 
  • PHASE 2:  Ending the Demand
  • PHASE 3:  Rehabilitation - non profit support

 CLOSE TO HOME (a feature length film to build awareness)

 Close To Home poster

Written & Directed by: Michael Cory Davis (bio below

Four lives converge throughout this interlocking story of unsuspecting teenagers thrust into the world of sex trafficking after the brutal attack of a young girl causes a series of horrifying events to unfold throughout the US, all within a two-week span. Lincoln, a suspended detective grieving from an incident in his past, rescues the young girl left for dead, which sends him on a personal mission to solve her case while forcing him to confront his own demons. Meanwhile, Emma, a 13-year-old girl from a struggling middle-class family in Ohio, is trying to overcome the pressures of fitting in at school; Aiesha, an underprivileged teen from Atlanta, loses her part-time job and is overwrought with responsibility as the sole caretaker of her 7-year-old brother; and Megan, a debutante, is enjoying her blissfully reckless life, experimenting with drugs and alcohol.

Additional Information

Close To Home is an inter-plot story similar to films such as CrashTraffic, and Babel with an ensemble cast. Close To Home is gripping, heartfelt, and is a commercially viable film that will succed within its genre. 

• The film will not be forced, nor is it a lecture piece; rather, it honestly portrays real-life situations as a way to engage the audience with stories easy to identify with.

• There will be two final cut versions of the film, a PG-13 and a R-rated version, based on the form of distribution we implement.

• Partial casting will be done by you the audience online!


AUSJ Logo  IST Logo

· Artists United for Social Justice (AUSJ) is a 501c(3) non-profit organization founded in 2008 by actor, filmmaker, and tenured anti-trafficking activist Michael Cory Davis. (www.ausj.org)

· The I Stop Traffic Awareness campaign (IST) is the official anti-trafficking campaign under AUSJ and has created two films, Svetlana's Journey (2005 Best Short Subject winner at the Hollywood Film Festival and 2005 HDFEST) & documentary film Cargo: Innocence Lost both about child trafficking. In addition, five public service announcements with Ashley Judd providing voice-overs on the issue have been nationally distributed; moreover, Human Trafficking 101: The Presenters guide, an educational DVD box set, has been created to raise awareness (www.istoptraffic.com). 


"The Problem: Child Trafficking"

Domestic trafficking

The FBI has determined that domestic trafficking of minors in the United States has become a nationwide epidemic. 

100,000+ young children in the United States are forced, manipulated, and lured into some form of commercial sexual exploitation annually, yet there are fewer than 5,000 sex trafficking convictions annually.

•The average age of entry into prostitution is 12 years old, with most recruited by force or coercion. 

• Online social networking websites, malls, and schools are popular targets for traffickers seeking to locate new victims. 

• Interstate truck stops and websites such as Craigslist, Backpages are popular places to purchase sex with a minor. Popular motel and hotel chains are used for sexual encounters throughout the United States.  

• The United States is the number 1 supplier of child pornography, with over 55 percent of it originating within the US.

A profit of $32 billion dollars a year is generated by human trafficking, with 80 percent of the cases affecting women and children

• Cities such as: Atlanta, Los Angeles, Houston, Dallas, and Detroit are major known hubs for child trafficking.

There are less than 50 beds available for the rehabilitation of sex trafficking victims throughout the United States.  

• Sex trafficking in America does not solely affect lower income, minority families; it affects all classes of society.



1. Utilize multi-media effectively  to create a cohesive movement that leverages support from Hollywood, government, educators, corporations, technology, civilians, law enforcement and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to spotlight sex trafficking and champion for bold, innovative solutions.

2. Spread awareness and educate vulnerable populations by creating the feature-length film Close To Home, which will address the issue of sex trafficking domestically.

3. Create a website that will be a “go-to” source of information on this pressing issue; highlight success stories; provide support to groups on a national basis; implement and promote various call-to-action campaigns; and distribute IST- and public-submitted multi-media.

4. Partner with and support of local organizations/NGOs that are directly involved in anti-trafficking work.

5. Provide fundraisers for shelters that support rehabilitation for sex trafficking victims.

6. Create youth-oriented, preventative curriculums around trafficking issues in conjunction with peer-to-peer mentoring.

7. Generate awareness through the press to garner national attention toward the issue.

8. Lobby for tougher sentences and fines for traffickers and the Johns to END THE DEMAND.

9. Align celebrities and recognizable figures with the cause for widespread awareness

I Stop Traffic Awareness Campaign 2005-Present

1. Created two award-winning films, Svetlanas Journey and Cargo: Innocence Lost on the issue of sex trafficking.
2 Taken part in campaigns to fund shelters and orphanages around the world.
3. Created a three-disc human trafficking educational DVD series used by law enforcement, non-profit organizations, and universities around the world.
4. Created five public service announcements with Ashley Judd for distribution virally.
5. Hosted and/or sponsored more than 40 screenings, Q&A panel discussions, and conferences globally.
6. Transported medical supplies to victims of the earthquake in Haiti and to sex trafficking victims in Thailand.
7. Appeared on national media outlets such as: CNN, World News w/ Charles Gibson, NBC, ABC news reaching millions of people around the world about the cause.
8. Created The Agent of Change Awards to recognize the efforts of activists in the anti-trafficking movement.

I Stop Traffic Awareness Campaign Previous Films:

Svetlana's Journey Poster


Svetlana's Journey- The chilling true story of a 13 year old girl who is held captive for 8 months by pimps after being sold and trafficked by her adopted parents for sex slavery. Written & Directed by: Michael Cory Davis 



Cargo: Innocence Lost - A compelling educational film that explores the world of sex trafficking in the United States. Written & Directed by: Michael Cory Davis


Non-Traditional Grassroots Distribution

If we have to distribute Close To Home without a studio, our model will look something like this:

1. AUSJ will align with its partners in non-profit, private-sector corporations, faith-based institutions, universities, organizations, and individuals to assist in sponsoring national and local screenings as part of the I Stop Traffic Awareness campaign tour. 

2. Tickets will be sold and revenue will be used to fulfill Phase 2 and 3 of the I Stop Traffic Awareness campaign.   

3. AUSJ will align with an internet company that has streaming video capabilities, such as YouTube, Hulu, Netflix, and Amazon. AUSJ will host a minimum of one online streaming world premiere as part of the I Stop Traffic Awareness campaign tour.

4. With the national and international success of this grassroots campaign, AUSJ will then license Close To Home to distributors for theatrical, television, DVD, and Pay TV consumption. 

5. If AUSJ does not distribute Close To Home through traditional means, AUSJ will make the film available for the public through a reputable internet streaming service and DVDS will be made available for educational purposes on our exclusive sales site. 

Michael Cory Davis

AUSJ founder

Michael Cory Davis

Michael is a triple threat: an actor, filmmaker and humanitarian. He has been involved in the fight against human trafficking since 2003 when he encountered victims of trafficking while shooting a film for the SyFy channel on location in Bulgaria. Touched by the real-life story of a 13-year-old Bulgarian girl sold by her adoptive parents and trafficked to Holland for prostitution, Davis wrote and directed Svetlana’s Journey, a film based on her life. Svetlana’s Journey was the winner of the 2005 Hollywood Film Festival Best Short Subject Award and the HDFEST Deffie Award for Best HD Dramatic Film. Davis partnered with the Bulgarian non-profit organization Face To Face, the US Embassy, and corporate sponsor M-Tel to implement an awareness campaign to raise funding for rehabilitation centers and orphanages in Bulgaria while touring the country with the film; he also promoted the airing of Svetlana’s Journey on Bulgarian television.

Michael’s second film, Cargo: Innocence Lost, in 2007, a documentary on sex trafficking in the United States, has been lauded for its effective spotlight on the issue here at home. In 2008, Michael created the I Stop Traffic Awareness campaign using his films as a way to spread awareness, support victims, and organizations. Michael has taken part in dozens of national and international human trafficking awareness events/film screenings with numerous organizations and high-profile figures, such as National Association of County Commissioners, National Foundation of Women Legislators, Salvation Army, Soroptomist, the former first Lady of Egypt Suzanne Mubarek, and Her Excellency Sheikha Sabiqa, the Queen of Bahrain, on their anti-trafficking campaigns. He is the recipient of the prestigious People to People International (founded by Dwight Eisenhower) Make a Difference Award and was honored in a ceremony alongside the prime minister of Albania and the president of Relief International. His work has been featured on CNN, ABC World News Tonight, and The Tyra Banks Show, to name a few.  

As an actor, Michael has appeared on Up All Night, CSI: NY, Private Practice, Tyler Perry’s For Colored Girls and For Better or Worse.  Michael is the owner of the Journey Film Group Inc., and has directed a series of documentaries as part of the special features for the DVD of the Emmy-award winning television series Mad Men for Lionsgate and AMC television.


  • Dept. Health & Human Services
  • Dept. Homeland Security
  • National Federation of  Womens’s Legislators
  • National Association of County Commissioners
  • National Council of Jewish Women LA
  • Peace Corps
  • US Embassy Bulgaria
  • Polaris Project
  • YWCA
  • LAPD
  • Soroptimist 
  • People To People Intl
  • Commission on the Status of Women
  • Junior league
  • Florida Coalition against human trafficking
  • Austin Texas Coalition to End Human Trafficking
  • Not For Sale
  • Safe Horizon
  • Rahab’s Hideaway
  • All We Want Is Love
  • City of West Hollywood
  • AirTran
  • Whole Foods
  • Pabst beer
  • Vons
  • M-Tel
  • Face To Face Bulgaria
  • Calvary Chapel Church

  • Mariners Church
  • Northcoast Calvary Church

  • Sisters of St. Joseph of Orange
  • UCLA

  • NYU
  • Vanguard University
  • Cal State Fullerton

  • Simmons College

  • CSUN Northridge

  • Cal Lutheran University

  • Merced County Commissioner
  • Lancaster County Commissioner
  • Los Angeles Police Department Vice Division
  • San Jose Police Department
  • Canada & Immigration public works
  • Youth With A Mission Los Angeles

Legal Information

• If you have been rewarded with an on-set visit, we anticipate shooting in September, at a soon-to-be disclosed location. As such, we will keep you updated so you can plan ahead.

• If you are interested in becoming a featured extra, you must be a US citizen or have a US work visa, and not be a member of SAG/AFTRA.

• You must be over 18 or accompanied by a parent or legal guardian (who will count as your plus one) to attend the premiere or visit the set. Extras must also be over 18.

• Certain rewards may require additional paperwork. If you are appearing in the film, you will have to sign a release form.

• The final cut of the film may have to be further edited in certain cases to adhere to the laws in the country where it is being viewed, or for different types of media.

• This fundraising campaign is subject to applicable Kickstarter rules and regulations, movie guild rules, and applicable law.   

Thanks to the wonderful and talented cast and crew who helped create the Close To Home promotional trailer: 

        Actors (in order of appearance)

  • Sierra Willis
  • Jason McBeth
  • Brad Goodman
  • Nathalia Castellon
  • Ashley Williams
  • Daffany McGaray Clark
  • Amin Joseph
  • Ato Joseph
  • Aaron Freeman
  • Jonathan Rosenthal
  • Josh Allen
  • Annabelle Borke
  • Bernadette Murray
  • Robert Younis


  • Writer/Director/Producer: Michael Cory Davis
  • Cinematographer: Carl Bartel
  • Still Photographer: Aaron Freeman
  • A.D: Lindsay Mcgrail
  • Make-Up: Grace Chun
  • Casting: Michael Cory Davis
  • Casting Assistant: Mckenzie Coffee
  • Production Assistant: Mckenzie Coffee
  • Editor: Craig Antioco




Team on This Campaign: