My Dangerous Loverboy

HEATH, Virginia, SPRUNG, Steve and WRIGHT, Ron (2009). My Dangerous Loverboy. [Video]

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My Dangerous Loverboy is a 20 mins fiction film, originated on High Definition and investigates the hidden world of teenage sex trafficking in the UK.

Jade (14) fantasizes about escaping her troubled home life by becoming a pop star and finding love. Her dreams appear to be answered with the arrival of handsome Raz (27). Seduced by his 'loverboy' charm, Jade soon finds herself entrapped and fighting to escape a dangerous world of sex trafficking, until one day she takes the risk of trying to escape...

Director’s statement ‘My Dangerous Loverboy’ is a drama inspired by real events and stories that I heard from girls as young as 13 who are the victims of 'internal' human trafficking around UK cities. Although some awareness has been raised about global sex trafficking (for example from Africa into Europe), the hidden crime of internal trafficking of very young girls within national borders is something no-one wants to talk about. But it is happening right here, right now, in the UK.

Despite the tough subject matter, I wanted to make a film that has authenticity, emotional power and a sensual visual style. I tried to capture the heady mix of excitement, romance and danger offered by ‘loverboys’ that is so alluring to these young girls and leads them down a path of sexual exploitation. I have used a strong colour palette, ‘noir’ lighting and reflective surfaces to give a poetic quality to moments of harsh reality.

Our target audience is teenage girls who are likely to be into music and part of Jade's character is that she dreams of being a singer. We commissioned a song, ‘Set Me Free’, for Jade (Juliet Aaltonen) which is sung brilliantly by Juliet and reflects her journey in the film from upbeat pop to dark and bluesy. The film is essentially a love story gone wrong. As the girls I talked to used to say; ‘All I ever wanted, was to be loved. Is that so hard?”

The film is part of an innovative cross platform project which won a Cross Media Challenge Award from the National Film Board of Canada and was nominated for a Royal Television Society Award. Alongside festival Screenings such as the Atlantic Film Festival (Canada), the film is being shown extensively in schools and front line agencies from youth workers to the police. It is having a substantial impact on political and social policy around sexual exploitation and internal trafficking.

Item Type: Video
Additional Information:

Copyright 2011 Virginia Heath VKH Films Ltd

Editor: Steve Sprung; Sound designer: Ron Wright

Uncontrolled Keywords: sex trafficking; sexual exploitation; loverboy; grooming
Research Institute, Centre or Group: Cultural Communication and Computing Research Institute > Art and Design Research Centre
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Virginia Heath
Date Deposited: 26 Jan 2012 14:07
Last Modified: 26 Jan 2012 14:10

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