Short Film Addresses Human Trafficking
Students gain production experience on set of “Hark”
Published: Friday, April 13, 2012
Updated: Thursday, April 12, 2012 12:04
A small group of Santa Clara students collaborated with Professor Jonathan Fung in the communication department to produce a film exploring human trafficking in San Francisco.
“Human trafficking is one issue that is highly underexposed at Santa Clara,” said Fung. “Trafficking can and does happen everywhere, not just in a foreign country.”
With the help of eight students, Fung co-wrote, produced and directed the short narrative “Hark” last summer. The short film is one of Fung’s efforts to expose sex slavery and human trafficking and spread awareness about this prevalent social justice issue.
“Hark” follows a young man who has led a self-absorbed life and must decide whether or not he will traffic a young girl into slavery.
Fung initially became interested in human trafficking when his daughter, who plays the young girl in “Hark,” was four years old — the same age children are when they are sold into trafficking in Southeast Asia.
Since then, Fung has attended conferences, read books and taught series about human trafficking. He also has incorporated the issue into his video production classes and requires his students to focus on a social issue of their choice for their projects.
Fung and his production team began production of “Hark” in September 2011 and filmed the short film in four days in Hillsborough and San Francisco.
The students involved in the film volunteered to help Fung in order to gain experience on a production set. They performed the roles of casting director, production coordinator, costume designer, production assistant, videographer, grip and stand-ins for actors.
Alex Pelfrey, a 2011 graduate, served as the grip truck driver and production assistant on the set. Fung had asked Pelfrey if he would be interested in assisting because of his interest in video production and, after reading the script, Pelfrey agreed.
“I really did like the script and the powerful message that it was conveying,” said Pelfrey. “I think one of the best aspects of film is that you can introduce people to new messages and expose them to things they would otherwise be unaware of.”
“Hark” is in the final stages of editing and will be finished by the end of the month. Fung is currently planning the premiere, which will take place on June 1 on the Santa Clara campus.
The forum will be followed by a human trafficking forum, in which several experts fighting modern day slavery will speak.
“My hope is to host a human trafficking conference on campus with the film premiere being the kickoff to that,” said Fung.
Fung also hopes to bring in a non-profit and a representative from Fair Trade to perform parts in the conference.
After production of “Hark” wraps up, Fung plans to continue spreading awareness about human trafficking.
He currently serves as the advisor of The Freedom Project: Students Against Human Trafficking, a new student organization that aims to spread awareness about human trafficking within the Santa Clara community.
“I will continue to use my gift in art and video production to spread awareness and hopefully call people to action about this issue that has both affected and appalled me,” said Fung.
Contact Anna Esquibel at firstname.lastname@example.org or (408) 554-4852.