Modern Slave is a film written by Spencer Currie and Dan Sima about a young girl in Los Angeles fighting to escape sex trafficking. We had an opportunity to interview Dan and find out more about what motivated them to write this film and how he became aware of the realities of trafficking in the Los Angeles area.
Dan was born in Romania and immigrated to Southern California when he was just two years old. He was raised by a single mother and moved frequently, attending five different elementary schools. In spite of struggling with poverty his mother and he had a great relationship, and Dan always felt loved. Dan enjoyed spending entire Saturdays at the movie theater watching film after film. Money was tight so he and his friends would pay for the first film, but stay behind after the film ended to watch several others. Unethical, yes, but it was Dan’s favorite pastime, so his mom turned a blind eye, just this once.
Dan fell in love with film, but felt a loyalty to his family because they sacrificed so much to bring him to the U.S. He decided it was important to earn a reliable income, so he became a business major in college. His passion for filmmaking could not be squashed and now he works tirelessly to develop content that crosses cultural boundaries and gives a voice to the voiceless. The issue of sex trafficking became real to him when a friend shared her experience on an outreach team in Thailand and Cambodia. Later he had the opportunity to travel to Thailand, which further opened his eyes to the issue. Studying at USC, he learned about the realities of sex trafficking in the Los Angeles area.
“If there’s a group of disenfranchised individuals today that have no voice, it’s the countless sex slaves around the world. I want people to connect with their human stories. I want people in LA to know this is not just happening in far away countries. It’s right in front of us.” -Dan Sima
Dan feels this is the most pressing social issue of our time. Making the film has been a long process, and more arduous than anticipated. Spencer and Dan started with a simple abduction story, but after doing research and meeting with advocates from FIAT, Treasures, and Care18, they have come to understand that abduction is the exception. Sex trafficking often happens through a complex process of coercion and threat.
After meeting with a trafficking survivor, and several local advocates, they made a commitment to tell an authentic story that would honor the victims of sex trafficking. At the same time the film is Entertainment based. It is in no way a documentary, nor is it written as a docudrama.
Their hope is to tell a story about a girl with a dream. Often when women are trafficked they survive in an emotional cage, unable to have the courage to further pursue their dreams. This is an issue that drives Two Wings to do the work that we do with trafficking survivors.
“All though our backdrop is sex trafficking; the theme of having a dream, but not pursuing it, is universal.”
Two Wings has joined in the effort to support the making of Modern Slave. We believe that the unique telling of this story will connect people, as well as draw more awareness to the complexity of sex trafficking than a traditional depiction would. The short film will be used to help raise funds for a feature length film. Just as the film Traffic explored the various angles of drug trafficking, Modern Slave hopes to achieve the same for sex trafficking.
Please join us in supporting the making of Modern Slave by visiting www.modernslavefilm.com and clicking on ‘Support the Film’. Two Wings is thrilled to have been able to be a part of the process and support for this inspiring story of hope. Please send all inquiries regarding this film to Producer Dan Sima at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you Spencer and Dan for your commitment to sharing the stories of victims and survivors of human trafficking. Well done!!
Written by Jessika Fuhrmaneck
Lead Writer, Two Wings