SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, May 26, 2016 (Gephardt Daily) — Film producer Gerald R. Molen has teamed up with ex-CIA Agent Tim Ballard, the founder of Operation Underground Railroad, to bring awareness to the international issue of child sex slavery.
Molen is the Academy Award winning producer of “Schindler’s List” and producer of other hit titles such as “Jurassic Park” and “Minority Report.”
Molen broke into the film business in 1957 at Republic Studios then moved to Universal Studios in 1967 to work on “Bound for Glory,” “Coming Home,” “Being There,” “Ordinary People” and “Absence of Malice.”
As head of production at Amblin, he served as executive producer on “The Flintstones,” “Little Rascals,” “Casper,” “Little Giants” and “Twister,” among others.
He has appeared in front of the camera in “Rain Man,” “Days of Thunder,” “Jurassic Park” and “Amistad.”
Molen holds an honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts degree from the University of Montana and an honorary Doctorate of Visual and Performing Arts from Southern Utah University.
The new film, “The Abolitionists,” which is playing exclusively in Utah at Megaplex Theaters, documents the worldwide sex trade industry and Operation Underground Railroad’s efforts to bring these children home and the men responsible to justice.
With unrestricted access to Operation Underground Railroad, Molen’s camera crews followed the team as it liberated enslaved children from sex traders around the world.
In an exclusive interview with Tony Toscano, entertainment editor for the online news source Gephardt Daily, Molen said: “This plight and blight would have gone on if it weren’t for one person standing up and saying, ‘It has to stop. It all starts with one person.'”
Ballard’s experience as a Department of Homeland Security agent on dangerous foreign deployments gave him not only insight into the scale of the sex tourism industry, but the skills to work effectively against it.
Over his career, Ballard dismantled dozens of child trafficking organizations and saved hundreds of children. His work had impacted him deeply, and he was ready to dedicate himself full time to abolishing child slavery worldwide.
Prior to his work at the Department of Homeland Security, Ballard worked for the CIA on terrorism cases in Latin America. He has an undergraduate degree in Spanish and political science, and a masters degree in international politics.
After several years as a special agent with the Department of Homeland Security, in 2013, Ballard left to found Operation Underground Railroad.
“I spent 12 years working in the government as a special agent, working child crime and child trafficking,” said Ballard. “It was there I introduced to this unbelievable plague of child trafficking. I couldn’t believe how big the numbers were.
“Millions of children are forced into this. And I recognized the status quo isn’t good enough. Governments are making great efforts, but it isn’t good enough. It’s too big to think that this is going to go away, unless we rise up.”
Ballard said “The Abolitionists” opened May 16 to a phenomenal response. “But now it’s grassroots in a kind of way. It’s here in Utah and the rest of the nation… all of the theaters in the nation are watching how it’s going to do here. If it does well here, and I mean this weekend. It’s ‘crunch time’ and we need to fill theaters right now. And if we do that, theaters around the nation will say ‘This is doing well and we’ll pick it up.’ And then this movie truly becomes a movement.”