(CNN) – Siddharth Kara is a researcher who has traveled the world, documenting cases of human trafficking. Now he’s using the power of media to inspire change.
Inside a secluded California ranch, a film crew is busy shining the bright lights of Hollywood on a crime traditionally hidden in the shadows.
“Every character in this film, every scenario, everything that is happening is drawn from something real that I’ve documented,” said Kara.
Siddharth Kara is a noted Harvard Professor and human trafficking expert. He’s spent the past 15 years documenting trafficking cases around the world. Those cases provide the inspiration for this film.
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“Trafficked” stars Ashley Judd as a social worker and Patrick Duffy, best known for his role in Dallas, plays a corrupt Texas Congressman who uses his power and connections to operate a lucrative, international trafficking operation.
“It is an important subject matter but I think more importantly is to unencumber the mind and hearts of people in general, to allow them that even if they are involved in thinking about a subject matter it is better than ignoring it,” said Duffy.
One of the film’s most riveting performances belongs to Charlie Kanter. The high-schooler plays a young woman fooled by a fake modeling offer and then made to work in a brothel against her will. Kanter says she learned of the issue and Siddharth Kara long before ever landing the role.
“I did a research paper about human trafficking my freshman year. And I learned a lot about what was going on with human trafficking. And I read Siddharth’s book and I learned an abundance of what was going on that nobody, at least in my environment, knew about,” said Kanter.
For Kara, reaching a broader audience while seeing the script come to life still calls up a range of emotions.
“There’s a fair bit of pain, as I think back to those true people and I wonder what happened to them, but there’s also some hope in that that’s I see this young girl saying what she said to me, with the real girl sent me I realize that she’s got a voice and her story is being told,” said Kara.
With hopes that by telling it, the story will prevent others from going through it, themselves.
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