Director Michael “Boogievision” Pinckney Presents Film Project “Trafficked: Survivor Stories”
Director, Producer, and Writer Michael “Boogievision” Pinckney, is gearing up to bring audiences from around the world his latest passion project “Trafficked: Survivor Stories” which is a powerful and poignant film that shines a light on the dark world of human trafficking. Through the eyes of three survivors, we are taken on a journey through the harsh realities of this illegal industry, where sex is a commodity and money is the only motivation.
Film Director Michael Pinckney on Advocacy
With the support of human trafficking advocates, the film delves into the lives of women who have escaped the horrors of trafficking and those who are still trapped within it. Through a series of non-fiction narratives and cautionary tales, the survivors share their stories of survival and resilience, offering a glimpse into the dark and dirty place where sex rules and money is the only color that matters. Told through the victims’ voices and featuring re-enactments, Trafficked: Survivor Stories is a moving and eye-opening film that highlights the devastating impact of human trafficking and the resilience of the human spirit.
Pinckney got his start as an assistant director on films such as “Inside Man” and “Precious” as well as TV shows like “Broad City” and “Law & Order CI” before transitioning to writing and directing. Michael has written features, television pilots, and a variety of digital series. His feature film debut was distributed by Lionsgate and he has directed a variety of digital series from “Sole Kings” for BRIC TV and “Black Actress” for Issa Rae Productions He Co-Produced BET’s Docu-Series “From The Bottom Up” and wrote and directed “The Trade” the Award-Winning film about sex trafficking. Recently he directed the pilot for “Blue Flame”, a new series about an all-female undercover police unit and film “God Bless You”, which has gotten over 2 Million views on YouTube. In addition, he just wrapped up his fourth feature film “Dreamhaus”, which is based on his book series.
Hello Boogie! We’re honored to interview you today! What has your journey and grind looked like so far as a producer, director, and writer?
Boogie: I remember at the age of 19 when I was an intern on a Spike Lee movie which was my first internship. Typically the interns watch the equipment at lunchtime when the crew goes to lunch. One time I was watching the equipment, and an OG camera operator named Phil comes back from lunch. He looked at me and said, “Hey, kid, so what do you want to do?” I looked at him and said, I want to be a director. Phil looked at me and said, “Well, go direct.”
I didn’t know how much that spoke to my spirit. We bumped into each other three years ago and I told him about that story and how he didn’t realize when he told me that, that it spoke to my spirit. To not wait for somebody to give me permission. That was my mantra from then to this day forward.
I don’t wait for someone to give me permission to write or to direct. I constantly develop projects, I constantly write, and I constantly figure out ways to shoot them. Currently, I have 12 projects in development. Once I develop the projects, I’m like, okay, so how do I finance it? How do I produce it? So during my grind, it takes power, creativity, and ownership of what I want to do. Nobody’s going to stand in my way.
Your upcoming project “Trafficked” showcases the support and advocacy of human trafficking organizations as we see the journeys of women who have escaped and those who are still trapped. Please tell us the backstory and origins of how this must-see project came about.
Boogie: I started with the short film version of my feature film called “The Trade”, and I was pitching it as a TV series but a lot of the buyers thought that the pilot was a documentary because they thought it was real. I was like, No, this is scripted. Then I was like, man, maybe there’s a world where I can present the unscripted version so I started developing it and I pitched that. People loved it but they couldn’t understand it because it was such a tough space and people weren’t talking about domestic trafficking at the time.
I ended up contacting a producer friend of mine and partnered with their Dallas production company, Cue & Coda Films. I got help finding women that were open and willing to tell their stories. We started with three women that we thought were great for the project and set up the shoot day. We interviewed the women, we interviewed the advocates, and we made it happen.
We’re going to have a screening and panel in Dallas in the fall, which is going to be a part of an Annual Fundraiser. It was about building a partnership, and we found a great partner. We’re hoping to take it even further.
For those who have personally experienced trafficking, what would you like to say to them ahead of watching?
Boogie: We had a screening in Atlanta, a few months ago with the Women in Film and TV in Atlanta who sponsored a screening. That was the first time we screened it. The impact that it had in the room was so tough. After the screening, there were heated conversations because it’s such a powerful production and the topic is so heavy. Everybody had different experiences with it. It was conversations that needed to happen, and I felt like more conversations needs to happen about it. Ultimately, that’s what it’s about, it’s about continuing to have conversations about it so that everybody’s aware of it.
Sex trafficking is right under our noses, and having a conversation about it gives women their power back because they could share their stories, and connect with other people that have similar stories. They can also educate people that have no idea because a majority of people have no idea of so many different ways that people are caught in trafficking. There are so many different instances overseas and domestically.
Everybody should watch it and we all need to be aware of the dangers no matter if you’re young, old, rich, or poor. A lot of you’ll be surprised how much sex trafficking is happening with men. It’s a lot that goes into trafficking and then you think about organ trafficking as well. It’s so much going on unfortunately, the world is evil. There’s good in the world, and there’s evil in the world. It’s going to be hard to watch, and hard to hear and I get it, but we have to see it and hear it. That’s the only way we’re going to change and confront it.
Congratulations on being one of the directors for “6 Minutes to Glory: The HBCU Band Experience” on the Aspire network which premiered in June. What are you most proud of from this accomplishment?
Boogie: I directed the Docuseries and it was amazing. I didn’t go to an HBCU even though I’ve always wanted to. Growing up in Brooklyn, my family didn’t have a lot of money. So I wasn’t traveling away to HBCU to go to college, because we didn’t really have money like that. But I was able to go to college because I played basketball and I got a scholarship. Oddly enough, the college I went to was a big film school, and that’s when I got into filmmaking.
When they approached me to direct the documentary, I jumped at the chance to go and document the marching band on HBCU campuses. I interviewed the band, interviewed the band leaders, and got to be a part of that culture that I always wanted to be a part of. I felt like I was an honorary student at an HBCU when I was at Alabama State, North Carolina, and Norfolk State. I also felt so welcomed like I was a part of the HBCU experience. The show is doing amazing on Aspire TV.
The Grind continues and so does your filmmaking endeavors. Is there anything you haven’t achieved yet that you hope to do so one day? If so, what are some of your future goals in the entertainment/film/tv industry?
Boogie: Ultimately, Boogievision Creative Studios I want to be an actual studio. I want a studio compound where other creators of color can come in and tell their stories and I can guide projects. I want to have a creative compound for creatives, writers, directors, producers, and storytellers. It’s my dream to mentor, guide, show run, and just be that gatekeeper that can open the gate for other creators.
For more information, visit: https://www.boogievision.com/ Follow on social: https://www.instagram.com/boogievision/