Patricia Velasquez, Rumer Willis
Courtesy of Marta Elena Vassilakis; Dillon Buss
By Matt Grobar EXCLUSIVE: Patricia Velasquez (The Mummy), Gian Franco Rodriguez (Halston), Rumer Willis (Sorority Row), Billy Budinich (Frank and Penelope) and newcomer Isabella Feliciana will star in the social impact film Maya from director Julia Verdin (Angie: Lost Girls), which has entered production in Los Angeles.
The film written by Verdin looks to raise awareness on key issues including child trafficking, domestic violence, alcoholism and child abuse. It’s inspired by true events and will show how predators use social media to lure vulnerable teens into their lair.
When Maya (Feliciana) is six years old, her father abandons her and her mother Camila. This, of course, has a lasting effect on them both. Camila resorts to seeking comfort in alcohol and an abusive boyfriend, with Maya suffers from feeling unlovable. No longer feeling safe in her own home, Maya searches for comfort outside of her family—finding it in Ray (Budinich), an edgy, yet charming young man who befriends her online. He positions himself as Maya’s protector and encourages her to escape her home life and move in with him. After a brief honeymoon period in Las Vegas, Maya soon finds out that tragically, Ray is not the shiny knight in armor that she believes he is. He’s actually a pimp who manipulates her into a dark world of prostitution.