Written on 30th Apr 2013.

The impact of human trafficking is being felt the length and breadth of Britain and Ireland, but it’s a crime that takes place in the shadows. However a spotlight was turned on this dark trade when the charity Unchosen recently launched 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.

To broaden public understanding of human trafficking, Unchosen has collated eight case studies from leading UK and Ireland 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; an additional prize will be awarded for film makers under 26 years old.

The first Unchosen Human Trafficking Short Film Competition invites both professional and student filmmakers to make a 10 minute film based on one of the eight stories.

The jury which will select the winning films is so far composed of:
· Dr Kevin Bales, leading academic on Modern Day Slavery and co-founder of Free the Slaves
· Carter Pilcher, Chief Executive of ShortsTV
· Gregg Helvey, Oscar nominated director of ‘Kavi’
· Rich Warren, programme manager of Encounters Short Film & Animation Festival

The winning films will be taken on a road show across Britain and Ireland to raise awareness of the issue with parliamentarians, front line professionals, young people and the general public.

“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 sensitize audiences – not just shock them into shutdown. We want them to recognize the signs of trafficking so that more victims can be identified and given access to the support they need.”

Short Film television channel ShortsTV will be providing a £2000 prize to the winning film. “The Unchosen film competition will highlight dramatic and shocking stories of slavery happening right here on our doorstep. We are pleased and honoured to join with Unchosen in this important initiative to give emerging filmmakers a chance to create these heart-rending stories in film and bring them to the world,” said Carter Pilcher, CEO of ShortsTV.

The Unchosen 2013 Human Trafficking Short Film Competition closes for entries on 13th August 2013. The overall winner will receive the following prizes:
· £2000 provided by ShortsTV
· Half a day’s audio time from the award-winning post-film production company ‘ENVY’.
The overall winner and category winners will also have the opportunity to have their films broadcast on ShortsTV across Europe.

Entrants should contact Unchosen on info@unchosen.org.uk – or go to www.unchosen.org.uk.

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