September 26, 2012, 7:00 P.M.

The Ray Stark Family Theatre, SCA 108, George Lucas Building, USC School of Cinematic Arts, 900 W. 34th Street, Los Angeles, CA 90007


Outside the Box [Office], Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism,  Women's Student Assembly (WSA) and Women Make Movies invite you and a guest to a special screening of

The Price of Sex

Written & Directed by Mimi Chakarova
Produced by Mimi Chakarova,
Stephanie Challberg and Steve Talbot
Followed by a Q&A with Mimi Chakarova
Moderated by Sandy Tolan, Associate Professor, USC Annenberg
7:00 P.M. on Wednesday, September 26th, 2012
The Ray Stark Family Theatre, SCA 108
900 W. 34th Street, Los Angeles, CA 90007

Winner of the 2011 Daniel Pearl Award for Outstanding International Investigative Reporting

2012 American Library Association Notable Videos for Adults List

2011 Nestor Almendros Award for courage in filmmaking, Human Rights Watch Film Festival

About The Price of Sex

An unprecedented and compelling inquiry, The Price of Sex sheds light on the underground criminal network of human trafficking and experiences of trafficked Eastern European women forced into prostitution abroad. Photojournalist Mimi Chakarova’s feature documentary caps years of painstaking, on-the-ground reporting that aired on Frontline (PBS) and 60 Minutes (CBS) and earned her an Emmy nomination, Magnum photo agency’s Inge Morath Award, and a Webby for Internet excellence.

Filming undercover with extraordinary access, even posing as a prostitute to gather her material, Bulgarian-born Chakarova travels from impoverished rural areas in post-Communist Eastern Europe, including her grandmother’s village, to Turkey, Greece, and Dubai. This dangerous investigative journey brings Chakarova face to face with trafficked women willing to trust her and appear on film undisguised. Their harrowing first-person accounts, as well as interviews with traffickers, clients, and anti-trafficking activists, expose the root causes, complex connections, and stark significance of sexual slavery today.

Provided courtesy of Women Make Movies. Not rated. Running time: 73 minutes. In English, Russian, Turkish and Bulgarian, with English subtitles.

To learn more about the film and to view the trailer, click here

Visit the Official Facebook page:


Filmmaker's Statement

The Price of Sex is a film about sex trafficking in Eastern Europe. The women I followed over seven years grew up in villages similar to my own. Under Communism, we secretly hungered for opportunities in the West and when the Berlin Wall fell in 1989, we finally had a chance to taste raw capitalism. Many in rural villages, however, lacked the skills and education to survive it. Girls, some still teenagers, became a commodity to be sold, exploited and discarded. Some call them foolish and unfortunate; others call them sex slaves, but they share the same story: desperate to leave, they were promised work abroad and instead sold to pimps to work in brothels and sex clubs. Over time I found young women who had survived and for seven years followed their stories to the countries where they were trafficked and back to their villages. This film is a testament to their courage – their willingness to expose the darkest and most haunting inner-workings of sexual slavery.

The women tell their own stories. My hope is that hearing them will bring change. I also found ways to expose the corruption among police, clients and pimps. I spent nearly a decade connecting the dots between the countries of origin – where the girls come from – and the countries of destination in the West and the Middle East – where they end up sold into prostitution against their will.

Sex trafficking is not a sheer equation of supply and demand. Add desperation, poverty, abuse, no access to justice and high levels of corruption and you’ll be a step closer in understanding why sex slavery continues to thrive. By breaking down the price of sex to its most human elements, the viewers become witnesses. And the women end their silence.

-- Mimi Chakarova

About the Guest

MIMI CHAKAROVA, Writer/Director/Producer

For the past decade, photographer and filmmaker Mimi Chakarova has covered global issues examining conflict, corruption and the sex trade. Her film The Price of Sex, a feature-length documentary on trafficking and corruption premiered in 2011. Chakarova was awarded the Nestor Almendros Award for courage in filmmaking at the Human Rights Watch Film Festival in New York. She was also the winner of the prestigious Daniel Pearl Award for Outstanding International Investigative Reporting and a 2012 Dart Awards Finalist for Excellence in Coverage of Trauma.

She is the recipient of the Dorothea Lange Fellowship for outstanding work in documentary photography and the Magnum Photos Inge Morath Award for her work on sex trafficking. Other awards include a People's Voice Webby as well as a nomination for a News & Documentary Emmy Award.

Chakarova's work has appeared in National Geographic, The New York Times Sunday Magazine, The Atlantic Monthly, Ms., The Sunday Times Magazine, London, CBS News' "60 Minutes," CNN World, BBC World, PBS' FRONTLINE/World and the Center for Investigative Reporting among others. In 2007, Chakarova became the series curator of FRONTLINE/World's FlashPoint, featuring the work of photojournalists from around the world. She is currently a correspondent at the Center for Investigative Reporting.

Chakarova taught visual storytelling at UC Berkeley's Graduate School of Journalism for 14 years. She's also taught at Stanford University's African and African American Studies and Comparative Studies for Race and Ethnicity.

Capitalism, God, And A Good Cigar: Cuba Enters The Twenty-first Century, published by Duke University Press in 2005, features over 75 of Chakarova's documentary photographs of Cuba.

Mimi Chakarova received her BFA in photography from the San Francisco Art Institute and her MA in visual studies from UC Berkeley. She has had numerous solo exhibitions of her documentary projects on South Africa, Jamaica, Cuba, Kashmir and Eastern Europe. 

About the Moderator

SANDY TOLAN (Associate Professor, USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism)

Sandy Tolan, associate professor at USC’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, is a radio and print journalist who has reported from more than 35 countries over the last 30 years. He is the author of two books (with a third forthcoming) has written for more than 40 newspapers and magazines, and had produced hundreds of documentaries and features for NPR and Public Radio International. Since 1982 he has reported from American Indian country, along the U.S.-Mexico border, across New England and the American West, in Latin America, the Middle East, the Balkans, Eastern Europe, and South and East Asia. A central focus of his work has been the intersection of land conflicts, racial and ethnic identity, natural resources, and the global economy.

Sandy is a co-founder of Homelands Productions, an independent production company focusing on documentary work for public radio. He was a lead producer for the Homelands series WORKING, monthly profiles on workers around the world broadcast on public radio's Marketplace, and senior producer for Food for 9 Billion, an international documentary collaboration between Homelands Productions, the Center for Investigative Reporting, PBS’s Newshour, and American Public Media’s Marketplace.

In 2010, Sandy's USC graduate students produced "Hunger in the Golden State," a 22-part, multi-platform series of radio, visual, and print stories in collaboration with California Watch of the Center for Investigative Reporting. The series was broadcast and printed in news outlets statewide.

Sandy is the author of The Lemon Tree: An Arab, a Jew, and the Heart of the Middle East. He is currently at work on a book on the transformative power of music in the lives of Palestinian children.  He blogs at

About Outside the Box [Office]

Outside the Box [Office] is a weekly showcase for upcoming releases highlighting world cinema, documentary and independent film titles. Recognizing a need for greater diversity on campus, the series will draw from around the globe to present movies that may challenge, inspire or simply entertain.

To view the calendar of screenings, click here.

About the Women's Student Assembly (WSA)

Founded in 1990, the purpose of the Women's Student Assembly is to address the emerging concerns of USC women by working to strengthen the network of female students, faculty, staff, and organizations. With a network of diverse organizations and a proactive stance in sponsoring political, educational, social, and community events, WSA seeks to raise the awareness, impact, and voices of USC women.

Our member organizations include:

Take Back the Night, The Clothesline Project, Society of Women Engineers, Women's Theatre Organization, USC VDAY, Women and Youth Supporting Each Other, Youths Exploring Passion, Marshall Women's Leadership Board

Learn more at:

Visit the Official Facebook page:

Check-In & Reservations

This screening is free of charge and open to the public. Please bring a valid USC ID or print out of your reservation confirmation, which will automatically be sent to your e-mail account upon successfully making an RSVP through this website. Doors will open at 6:30 P.M.

All SCA screenings are OVERBOOKED to ensure seating capacity in the theater, therefore seating is not guaranteed based on RSVPs. The RSVP list will be checked in on a first-come, first-served basis until the theater is full. Once the theater has reached capacity, we will no longer be able to admit guests, regardless of RSVP status.


The USC School of Cinematic Arts is located at 900 W. 34th St., Los Angeles, CA 90007. Parking passes may be purchased for $8.00 at USC Entrance Gate #5, located at the intersection of W. Jefferson Blvd. & McClintock Avenue. We recommend parking in outdoor Lot M or V, or Parking Structure D, at the far end of 34th Street. Please note that Parking Structure D cannot accommodate tall vehicles such as SUVs. Metered street parking is also available along Jefferson Blvd.

Contact Information

Name: Alessandro Ago