Just Bee Films was formed by producer Helen Vonderheide in 2011 when she began developing Sold, the company’s first feature film. Sold is based on the true story and international best-selling book about two teenage British sisters sold into marriage in the Yemen by their father. Vonderheide has always had a passion for telling socially conscious stories, and developing the screenplay for Sold with her screenwriters made her increasingly aware of the issue of child marriage. She found the problem was not just isolated to a small area, but rather an international epidemic just as prevalent in the United States as elsewhere; one that tragically shatters the lives of millions of young children.
Vonderheide’s determination to raise awareness to social issues, particularly those that affect women and children, inspired her to form Just Bee Films. Sold is the first of a number of films in this vein that Vonderheide will continue to develop and produce. Just Bee Films is a production company that focuses on sharing real-life stories with the intention of increasing mindfulness towards those without a voice. According to the company’s mission, “By sharing compelling stories that explore the struggle for equality, we can inspire people to take action and bee the positive change.”
Over the past couple years Vonderheide began researching organizations that were specifically fighting against child marriage. To date, she has connected with dozens of organizations who will join her in supporting the film once it is completed. She was most recently a community partner for an organization called Freedom and Fashion which is a fashion-oriented, creative arts ministry and organization that serves as a resource hub for fair-trade businesses and non-profit organizations working to combat modern-day slavery, human trafficking, child labor and human rights violations. She attended their first ever collective conference which brought together hundreds of like-minded, passionate and progressive thinkers asking, “What can I do to help?”
Helen Vonderheide is confident that she can help by raising the necessary funds to produce Sold into a compelling feature film that will penetrate the hearts of her audience. She wishes to raise social awareness towards this issue so that young children and adults will be educated on the subject matter, in order to ensure their safety, and the safety of their brethren. She also hopes through the success of her film, that she is able to support the organizations that support her and who are fighting on the front lines to make a difference in the lives of those who suffer. She will continue on the path as a socially conscious film maker and further develop stories worth sharing to make a positive difference in the lives of others.
Just Bee Films is currently a part of CROWDIMPACT. CROWDIMPACT is the world’s largest Social Enterprise Business Presentation Forum. CROWDIMPACT combines an online challenge with educational webinars and culminates with an offline live presentation event. This online + offline event aims to grow and engage the impact community by connecting quality Social Enterprises with active supporters.
You can check out Just Bee Films profile here. More information on Ms. Vonderheide, Just Bee Films or Sold is available at this link. There’s also a youtube video of Helen Vonderheide discussing the making of Sold here.