It is estimated that trafficking in persons around the world is worth around $ 150 billion, and every year, millions of vulnerable children and women are forced into sexual slavery.
It is a dark world of exploitation that impacts in some way in almost every corner of the planet.
Best known for his role in the Oscar-winning film Millionaire Slumdog, Freida Pinto hopes that her new film can help shed light on the subject.
"This exploitation has been around for many years, and it has gotten worse, and the reason it has gotten worse over time is that we talk less about that," he told SBS News.
"The medium of the film is really powerful, and when you know there is a topic that needs attention, you can start creating a global conversation."
Love Sonia, The opening of the Indian Film Festival follows the journey of a young girl who tries to rescue her sister from international sex traffickers, and then herself becomes involved in the international epidemic.
Director Tabrez Noorani has a unique understanding of how the global industry works: for more than a decade he worked with non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to rescue girls forced to perform sex work.
Pretending to look for places for his film, Mr. Noorani was able to provide information to the NGOs about brothels that had forced underage girls to work for them.
"I've been in these raids, and I've rescued the girls myself, and I've been in rehab with them in different parts of the world," he said.
While the plot of Love Sonia It is alarming, it is based on women's real life experiences.
"From the beginning, it was important to me that the film was authentic, I knew them and they were involved even when we wrote the script."
Next to the cast is newcomer Mrunal Thakur, who told SBS News that he hopes his first film will help raise awareness of a widespread problem.
"I'm very happy with the fact that this is my first film, once again it's for a cause," he said.
"My only intention is that people see this movie, and if a girl is saved, I think I have achieved what I wanted."
The theme of this year's film festival is "inclusion," and many of the films tell stories of marginalized communities.
Ms. Pinto believes it is important to share these stories and recognize the similarities.
"To be able to humanize these young women, whom we call prostitutes, sex workers or sex slaves, and simply achieve it: woman, that's very important for me," he said.
Ms. Pinto said there are many problems that affect Indian women, and she said she was disturbed when she read that an international poll by the Thompson Reuters Foundation had registered India as the worst place to be a woman.
"It's the most horrible thing an Indian woman can read, it's very disturbing," she said.
"There are things that are happening in India that are very regressive when it comes to women, but I also think we should put some attention on things that are progressive and encourage the younger generation."
Film critic Rajeev Masand and modern Indian cinema are exploring the complexities of some of these themes.
"Anyone who has been following Indian cinema will understand that the films have moved beyond the cliché of the song and the extravagance of the dance," he said.
"Many of the new films reflect themes and problems that are real."