Human Trafficking at The Oscars

Last year was a banner year for the issue of human trafficking at the Oscars, with Slumdog Millionaire taking home the Best Picture trophy. Slumdog tells the story of a young Indian boy who survives being abducted by a child trafficker, among other things, to eventually win the heart of his true love and enough money to support her on a tv game show. This year, the issue of human trafficking is also present in the film Kavi. But can Kavi follow in Slumdog’s footsteps?

Kavi, nominated for Best Live Action Short Film, is also set in India. It tells the story of title character Kavi, a young boy forced to work making bricks. It has already won the Student Academy Award for Best Narrative Film. Kavi’s category is diverse this year, with films touching on Chernobyl, magic, paper fish, and haunted houses. It may not have the star power or media attention that Slumdog did by this time last year, but Kavi has a lot of heart. The film also focuses much more closely on the realities of child trafficking in India than Slumdog Millionaire did, and aims to educate as much as entertain. Their website offers some great resources for getting involved in the fight against modern-day slavery for those inspired by the film. Here’s the trailer, with more on human trafficking at the Oscars after the jump.

But 2009 was by no means the first year the issue of human trafficking was present at the Academy Awards. In 2006, the short film Fields of Mudan, about child trafficking in China, was nominated but didn’t win. And of course, in 2005, Three 6 Mafia won an Oscar for their controversial song “It’s Hard Out Here for a Pimp”. This victory was a slap in the face for the abolitionist community from the Oscars, who had been fighting to get pimps recognized as the exploiters that they are.

So tune in tomorrow and cheer for Kavi to carry on the good traditions of the Academy Awards being a vehicle for bringing attention to human trafficking.

Kavi ( from Gregg Helvey on Vimeo.



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