New Film Competition Shines Light on Human Trafficking
The impact of human trafficking is felt the length and breadth of Britain and Ireland, but it’s a crime that takes place in the shadows. On February 19th however a spotlight is turned on this dark trade when the charity Unchosen launches a short film competition to draw attention to the misery in our midst.
The victims of trafficking are all around us, unseen and unheard, and unable to speak out for fear of their traffickers. 16 year old Hung was smuggled into the UK from Vietnam, and forced to work in an illegal cannabis factory. Rose’s family in Britain were unaware that at 13 she was lured into and caught in a secret life of sexual exploitation. And in Rina’s attempt to escape poverty in Indonesia, she became trapped in domestic servitude in the Gulf and later London.
Film is a medium of light – light captured, composed and projected – and exposure to the light is what traffickers most fear. The first Unchosen Human Trafficking Short Film Competition invites both amateur and professional filmmakers to turn their cameras on eight stories like these – and it especially encourages young people under 26 to get involved. Their films can shed light, open eyes and banish fear.
The winning entries will be selected by a panel of high-profile judges, and then taken on a road show across Britain and Ireland in 2014 to raise awareness of the issue with parliamentarians, front line professionals, young people and the general public.
Award winning director Ken Loach is a patron of Unchosen, and a strong supporter of the competition. “The world political situation is unstable,” he says, “with exploited and vulnerable people desperate to escape their circumstances. This is a breeding ground for people traffickers, with all the abuse that we know those trapped in this way suffer. Confronting those situations in film is a way of understanding what is happening, making the general particular.”
To broaden public understanding of human trafficking, Unchosen has collated eight case studies from leading charities that reflect the diverse nature of trafficking today- a reality that is much wider than sex trafficking alone. Each film should be based on one of these case studies, and will be judged in the following categories: (1) Domestic Servitude; (2) Forced Labour and Criminality; (3) Sexual Exploitation; and (4) Young Filmmaker (under 26).
“We want these films to be a genuine tool in the fight against trafficking”, says Trish Davidson, the Founder and Director of Unchosen. “With films that reflect the actual reality of trafficking in the UK and Ireland we want to engage and sensitise audiences – not just shock them into shutdown. We want them to recognise the signs of trafficking so that more victims can be identified and given access to the support they need.”
The Unchosen 2013 Human Trafficking Short Film Competition is launched on Tuesday 19th February – with a closing date for entries of 13th August 2013
. An award ceremony will take place in October in partnership with ‘Encounters Film and Animation Festival’, and the overall winner will receive a prize from the award-winning post-film production company ‘Envy’.
Entrants should contact Unchosen on 0117 370 6417 or info a_t unchosen d_o_t org d_o_t uk – or go to www.unchosen.org.uk.