Sands of Silence gets TheWIFTS Award


December 10th


(The Women in Film and Television Showcase)

TheWIFTS Foundation International Visionary Awards 2017

West Hollywood, California

TheWIFTS Award Jury’s Comment:

“Sands of Silence is a remarkable film, in that through the potency of its storytelling, it exposes the humanitarian issue both on the surface and beneath, of the suffering of individuals affected by this odious crime. The film has embolden others to speak and  to no longer live in the ‘silence’.”

Chelo Alvarez-Stehle and Lala Isaias look at TheWIFTS Award estatuette
TheWIFTS host Actress Julie Carmen shows the Award to Sands of Silence character Lala Isaias as Chelo looks. Photo courtesy TheWIFTS – credit: Joshua Deitell

TheWIFTS Foundation was honored to count with talented and celebrated actress Julie Carmen (Gloria Milagro Beanfield War, Windows on the World) as Mistress of Ceremonies for the 10th anniversary of TheWIFTS Foundation International Visionary Awards 2017, celebrating inspirational and outstanding women. These ‘women as individuals’ from around the world will receive Awards for their work in Film, Television and Society.

Chelo Alvarez-Stehle TheWIFTS Award acceptance speech
“Today is December 10th, International Day on Human Rights, and is humbling to receive this Humanitarian award.” Chelo Alvarez-Stehle at TheWIFTS Best Documentary Humanitarian Award acceptance speech. Photo courtesy TheWIFTS – credit: Joshua Deitell

TheWIFTS Mission Statement: To honor outstanding women who continue to “raise the bar” in their respective fields. The Foundation will research noteworthy, unknown or known individuals who have made a difference in their respective communities but have yet to be acknowledged and commended for their extraordinary efforts and positive impact on our society.

Chelo Alvarez-Stehle and several awardees of TheWIFTS Award
Several of the 2017 TheWIFTS Awardees (from left to right): Chelo Alvarez-Stehle, Actress Elizabeth Partnow, Producer Valentina Castellani-Quinn, Avatar Costume Designer Mayes Rubeo, TheWIFTS host Actress Julie Carmen, ADI Director Jan Creamer, Slipaway Director Julia Butler, Didi Ananda Kalika. Photo courtesy TheWIFTS – credit: Joshua Deitell
Chelo Alvarez-Stehle and Virginia Isaias hold TheWIFTS Award porcelain estatuette
Sands of Silence director Chelo Alvarez-Stehle and main character Virginia Isaias.

Agnès Films – Film Review of Sands of Silence |

Agnès Films, supporting women and feminist filmmakers recently reviewed, Chelo Alvarez-Stehle’s Sands of Silence, documentary film. The review by Julie Caper Roth, says: “Sands of Silence demonstrates that trauma is not merely the plight of women in far-off lands. It can exist close to home and can only be felled by transparency and communication. The narratives contained within the documentary make this film a helpful resource for individuals and groups tackling the issues of abuse and sex-trafficking.”

Review of Chelo Alvarez-Stehle’s Sands of Silence

RTVE Broadcast

SANDS OF SILENCE: Waves of Courage

Geolocalized broadcast in Spain’s territories on the occasion of the

International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women

RTVE (Radio Televisión Española),

the country’s public television system which counts with the largest audience.

Read below my #MeToo article published in Spain’s daily EL PAÍS on the eve of the broadcast.

“Eran las cinco en punto de la tarde. Y estaba de los nervios. Mientras escribía estas líneas estaba a punto de salir a manifestarme. A punto de unirme al grito unísono: “Basta de agresiones. Respetad nuestro cuerpo”. Estaba de los nervios y trataba de controlar las lágrimas, porque unas horas más tarde, cualquiera podía ver una radiografía de mi vida. Mi vida y la de mi familia, al desnudo. Nerviosa por lo que supone romper el silencio ante millones de espectadores…”

READ FULL ARTICLE "No nos callamos más" Sands of Silence en El País


Broadcast in La Noche Temática

(The themed night), a documentary program that addresses

society, culture and current affairs from different point of views.


United Nations

July 10th, 2017

Sands of Silence was featured at the High-Level Political Forum, United Nations, New York.

We had the honor to present our film at the panel entitled

Eradicate Poverty by Eradicating Silence About Sexual Violence:
Forging the Link Between Gender Rights and Prosperity through Arts and Media

along with our partner Equality Now

“Exploitation, violence against women and poverty go together.”
— Román Oyarzun Marchesi, Spain’s Mission to the U.N. Ambassador

Check out this short video clip of the opening remarks by Spain’s Permanent Mission to the UN Ambassador:


“For those people who do not care about social issues:
Rape is the most costly crime in the US and in most countries.
It tears apart our social fabric because all the money we need to spend                                                                              in legal, law enforcement and medical areas.”
—Elizabeth Cronin, Director of the New York Office of Victim Services

Elizabeth Croning addressing the panel

Main character and survivor Virginia Isaias, Chelo Alvarez-Stehle, editor Marla Ulloa

Access to technology can counter sexual exploitation | FORBES


SANDS OF SILENCE Film Campaign Featured in Forbes Magazine:

by Rebecca Sadwick and Sarah Godoy

Forbes Magazine


Forbes Magazine – Febr. 29, 2016 – “In a campaign that calls for immediate action, Chelo Alvarez-Stehle’s film Sands of Silence: Waves of Courage has engaged a global community by illustrating cultural and systemic factors that reinforce the sexual abuse continuum.”
In addition to the dialogue and democratization of discourse, free and openly accessible social media platforms facilitate a space for victims and survivors to communicate, access help, and build new communities.

Read more