Award-winning socdoc finally gets Bermuda showing
An award-winning documentary film made by a Bermudian-based production company is to screen on the island for the first time.
It is the uncovered story of forced slavery in textile manufacturing at the bottom of the clothing industry.
The Price of Cheap, which has won 20 international awards, was produced by Wishing Step Pictures, which has offices in Hamilton and in Toronto, Canada.
Shot in Tamil Nadu, India, the film tells the stories of modern slaves hidden in fashion supply chains. It follows activists on raids to rescue children from unsafe factories and the survivors trying to rebuild their lives.
Kim Carter, a longtime Bermuda resident, and Zabi Yaqeen are partners and directors of Wishing Step and also co-producers of the film.
The award-winning Canadian film and television director/producer Peter Raymont of Toronto’s White Pine Pictures is an executive producer.
Wishing Step was formed to make films and stage campaigns as a force for social change.
Mr Carter and Mr Yaqeen are also behind Muuvment, a Bermudian-based social impact platform.
Mr Carter said: “The Price of Cheap has been very well received by organisations like Anti-Slavery International, Fashion Revolution and the Freedom Fund as a sobering and compelling description of the plight of these exploited labourers – mainly young girls.
“As a sign of their faith in the film, we're working with Anti-Slavery International and Fashion Revolution to build the film’s social impact campaign through Muuvment.”
Mr Carter said actor/director, Robin Wright, has agreed to support the film and the campaign, adding: “We are also in discussions with a well-known actor to narrate a broadcaster version of The Price of Cheap, as this will naturally assist us in our efforts to amplify the call to action.”
Mr Carter said The Abolish Foundation, a Canadian non-profit that he and Mr Yaqeen helped co-found, has funded part of a one-year pilot programme to help young girls who were rescued from modern slavery to obtain vocational training, so they are no longer vulnerable to predatory recruiters in the fashion industry.
TAF has also funded and co-ordinated the work of getting prosthetics for two young boys, Ajay and Anil, who lost their arms in factory accidents. The story of Ajay is covered in the film.
Mr Carter said TAF has been working with Pooja Mukul, an expert in prosthetics for the developing world who runs a clinic in Jaipur, India.
He added: “Up until the time we brought Ajay and Anil to her clinic, she had never worked with a patient from the Dalit class, or ‘Untouchables’ as they are unfortunately sometimes referred to, and not from anyone suffering from a limb loss while being subjected to forced labour in despicable conditions.
“She told me, in one of my many conference calls with her, that she found the whole experience very moving and extremely rewarding.
“These boys have no money and their families and the community they live in are too poor to give them any support whatsoever, so she is thrilled that TAF and her clinic are working together.
“She said when she first saw Ajay, he was an uncommunicative and broken boy. When he left her clinic, he was a confident and ‘new’ person, ready to restart his life.
“We are now in talks with Dr Mukul about helping other victims of modern slavery who have lost limbs.
“Without the making of The Price of Cheap, none of this would have happened.”
Mr Carter said the call to action of the film will be handled by Muuvment, which has created a campaign on modern slavery as part of its B2B offering to help companies and communities launch turnkey campaigns on social and environmental issues they care about.
He added: “The goal of the campaign is to help reduce the number of victims of modern slavery and make people aware that it is a growing problem.
“It is estimated that there are more than 40 million modern slaves in the world today, more than at any point in history – and the numbers are on the rise.
“The Price of Cheap will be featured in Muuvment’s campaign to help combat this growing problem.”
The film is to screen on Sunday at 4.30pm at Speciality Cinema in Hamilton.
Mr Carter and Mr Yaqeen will take part in a Q&A session after the film.
Tickets, at $17, are available at www.bdatix.bm.