MSU grads will showcase trafficking documentary at EL Film Festival

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Michigan State University graduates Laura Swanson and Kirk Mason will be showcasing their short documentary “Break the Chain” in East Lansing’s 20th annual film festival.

“Break the Chain” highlights human trafficking in Michigan.

Director Laura Swanson said she was inspired to create the documentary when she started seeing more articles in the newspaper relating to trafficking cases in Michigan.

“Having been a survivor of rape and working with victims of sexual assault and domestic violence, I assumed there would be many similarities between victims of human trafficking that I could identify with,” Swanson said.

After speaking with Jane White,  director of the Michigan Human Trafficking Task Force, Swanson wanted to be able to provide a safe and victim-centered platform where survivors of human trafficking could share their stories.

“Break the Chain” came from the notion of no matter who you are, or where you are from, everyone is connected to human trafficking somehow. It is in every city, every town, and every community,” Mason said.

Mason said that when he works on projects like this he gets really invested in the community he is representing. He said that he always becomes more of an advocate than he expected.

“My favorite part is being able to get to talk to survivors of human trafficking. We talked to two survivors who opened up and told us their stories,” Mason said.

“Break the Chain” will be viewed at 7 p.m. Nov. 10 at Wells Hall.

The film festival will be taking place Nov. 9-16  And will showcase 30 films at two venues: Wells Hall and Studio C cinemas.

The public will have the chance to view feature films, short films, student films, and documentaries.

Films, dates and times