> The annual Unchosen Film Festival returns to Bristol for its third year, later this month. The aim is to raise awareness about the growing problem of human trafficking – the fastest growing criminal industry in the world.

On four consecutive Tuesday’s, between the 19th of October and the 9th of November, screenings will be held at the Colston Hall, supplemented by talks and Q&A sessions by filmmakers, after the films have been shown.

The honorary president of the event is filmmaker Nick Broomfield. Dramatist, Ken Loach is a patron, along with Paul Field and Chantelle Tagoe. Broomfield says, “I am honored to be working with people who have the energy to put their caring into effect”.

The first screening will be the UK premier of Portuguese filmmaker Rui Simoes’ Paths of Pain, which explores issues such as poverty and the plight of immigrants associated with human trafficking. Simoes is a renowned filmmaker whose earliest work was the 1975 feature film ‘God, Fatherland, Authority’, about the Portuguese clerical fascist dictatorship, of Antonio de Oliveira Salazar‘s Estado Novo (New State).

The following week, three short films – Bristol Bike Project, Echoes and Brazil’s Child Prostitutes – will be screened.

Understanding Trafficking, a film about young girls lured across borders into India’s sex trade, directed by Ananya Chatterjee Chakraborti, will be screened on November the 2nd. The film won the United Nations Population Fund award, at the Laadli media awards in May.

According to Chakraborti, at least 500 girls are trafficked from Nepal and Bangladesh to India every month, via the Eastern corridor. According to Interpol, sex trafficking of women and children is a $1 billion (USD) global industry that continues to grow; and 200,000 Nepalese girls work in Indian brothels.

Unchosen patron, Paul Field, closes the festival on November the 9th with CARGO, a musical which compares the struggle to end the African slave trade in the late Eighteenth and early Nineteenth centuries with the plight of human slaves today.

Human trafficking is tied with the illegal arms industry as the second largest criminal industry in the world, after the drug-trade. It is the exploitation of human beings for the purposes of sex or labour, making it a modern day form of human slavery.

The total annual revenue for human trafficking is estimated to be between $5 billion and $9 billion, while the Council for Europe estimates that it has a total annual market of over $40 billion. According to the United Nations, 2.5 Million people from 127 different countries are being trafficked around the world.

Many countries still fail to comply with the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000. In the Totalitarian states North Korea and Burma, the Theocracies of Iran and Saudi Arabia, and many African states, like Zimbabwe and Sudan, no effort at all has been made to comply with the TVPA. And in the whole of South America, Africa and Asia, only four states are in full compliance with the TVPA’s minimum standards.

Tickets to each screening at the Colston Hall can be purchased from the Colston Hall website, or at the box office and are priced at just £2.

The Colston Hall will also host the (UN)VEILED art exhibition, on Monday the 18th and Tuesday the 19th October. Screenings will also be held at the Forum in Bath on Wednesday nights, starting with Nick Broomfield’s Ghosts on Wednesday the 20th October.

Oscar Clarke