only light scene
LOS ANGELES, CA Only Light, a short film written by Thembi Banks and directed by Evita Castine, has been selected to compete in the 2015 Diversity in Cannes Short Film Showcase, which screens films that address global experiences.

This year’s showcase will have pay special homage to the Black Lives Matter movement. Only Light tackles the harrowing topic of the international sex-trafficking industry.

The film follows a young girl who is kidnapped from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, sold as a sex worker in the U.S., and escapes her harsh reality by connecting with a girl next door.

There are over 30 million sex-trafficking victims and it’s the third largest criminal industry in the world – Banks and Castine hope that Only Light will bring attention to this global issue.

“I am looking forward to showing Only Light in the Diversity film Showcase Cannes in hopes of showing what Human Sex Trafficking looks like from the victim’s perspective, “ says Castine. “ I wanted to bring this film to a global audience because sex trafficking is modern day slavery and an issue that affects girls, boys and people all over the world. It’s my goal that people will be interested in engaging the lives of children and be part of the discussion.”

On the road to Cannes, Only Light has screened at numerous film festivals, including: New York Short Film Festival, L.A. Indie Film Festival, and the Martha’s Vineyard African-American Film Festival. It’s also been the recipient of the One Lens Film Festival’s Audience Award and Social Impact Award, as well as the L.A. Indie Film Festival’s Best Screenplay Award.

“Showcasing our film at Cannes is an amazing opportunity not only for us as filmmakers but for the story we are telling,” says Banks. “The commodification of sex and the exploitation of women across the globe is an important and timely issue. Exploring this travesty through cinema furthers the conversation and keeps these women in the minds and hearts of audiences around the world.”

Evita Castine directed the film as part of USC Cinema’s Advanced Production class, where she was the first African- American female selected to direct. Castine is a Horizon Award Directing Finalist and first year film, Saudade, has played at several film festivals throughout the U.S. Her other films include Brick and Lulu and Bart and Cleo.

The writer, Thembi Banks, is a graduate of USC’s MFA program and produced the award-winning short film, Present Trauma. With a background in marketing at MTV and Essence Magazine, Banks also executive produced a television pilot, 80’s Babies and is currently producing, Undone, a film awarded an Alfred P. Sloan Foundation grant.

Heralded as “Dazzling” by The Gene Siskel Film Center and casted by Tracy Twinkie Byrd (Fruitvale Station, Black Nativity, and Being Mary Jane), the film was produced by Zac Skipp and Elena Ostromouva and stars Kennedy Zimet, Brooke McNeal, Michael Beach, Aaron Spears, and Michole White.

For more information on the film, please visit:

For more information about the 2015 Cannes Diversity Showcase:





Yasmine Parrish
[email protected]