Orlando, FL- Following a hectic week in Miami, we stopped in Orlando for a few days before we would continue our research in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.
The quantity and quality of information we are collecting continues to grow with each day we are on the road. We will continue to work towards updating our readers on some of the work we have found within the states we have visited (Indiana, Georgia, Louisiana, Tennessee, Alabama and Florida), but we wanted to discuss a launch party for a fundraising campaign we had the opportunity to attend for a feature film that will address the issues of human trafficking, called Pembroke Circle.
Following a meeting with Mr. Tomas Lares, the founder and president of Florida Abolitionist, and chair of the Florida Rescue and Restore Coalition, we were invited to accompany him to the screening of a short scene from this pre-production feature film.
Before the screening, we heard Mr. Lares and Tom Gillan, Director of the Criminal Justice Office – a program of Catholic Charities of Central Florida speak about the importance of a film like Pembroke Circle.
Lares and Gillan praised Director Max Rousseau, MFA student at Central Florida University, for his in-depth research into the field of human trafficking while writing the script for the film. He took time to study the issue meticulously in order to appropriately represent a complex issue, rather than excessively dramatize an issue already sensationalized in the media. His goal for the film was to find a balance between sensationalism and realism.
Rousseau commented about his film: “Although ‘Pembroke Circle’ is not a message film, it certainly calls attention to the subject and we want it to contribute as much as possible to human trafficking awareness.”
The Director discussed his struggle to decide which type of human trafficking to portray. Ultimately deciding to represent a story of a young woman forced into domestic servitude. He wants to use his film as a median to represent the psychological damage caused to victims of human trafficking, and show the long road to recovery.
As Rousseau expressed, his audience is “any person interested in the advancement of human rights”. This film is a piece that the public can be drawn into for its dramatic and thrilling features, but also learn from. Through watching this film, the audience will hopefully come to understand that human trafficking is not only ‘sex’ trafficking, but often also consists of labor trafficking and domestic servitude, as well as debt bondage. It will be a chance for the audience to understand how possible it is that something so horrific as the enslavement of a human being could very well be happening in their own neighborhood.
You can view a short scene from the film, as well as take a look at Rousseau’s fundraising campaign for Pembroke Circle on Kickstarter. Click here to be brought to the page..
We hope when this narrative feature is finished it will provide individuals from across the country, and around the world, a lesson of what human trafficking can look like; and how easy it is for something so horrific to be happening in our own backyards.