Film sheds light on human trafficking

(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.

“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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