The Hidden Tears Project is producing virtual-reality films, among its upcoming projects. And the results will almost certainly haunt you.
That’s because Hidden Tears’ mission is to create media that raise mainstream awareness of an almost-hidden social problem: human trafficking in the United States.
Entertainment professionals Jordan Marinov and Jason Gurvitz co-founded their nonprofit in in 2015. Drawing on their backgrounds in dance and filmmaking, respectively, Jordan and Jason collaborated with law-enforcement officials, survivors, and child advocates while recruiting top Hollywood talent . Their first two resulting projects, the short films Unseen Dances and Tanya, are currently on their website’s media page.
Unseen Dances, which Jordan choreographed, brings to light some of the shocking facts about human trafficking while exploring, through dance, the world of women abducted into the sex trade. (Jordan is the Artistic Director of her own dance company, Marinov Dance, and has performed all over the world as both an actress and a dancer.)
Meanwhile, the dramatic short Tanya, which Jason co-produced, shows the stark realities of a young woman’s life as a prostitute. (Jason, who is the founder of Green Dog Films, also co-directed Unseen Dances. His past projects, prior to the Hidden Tears Project, have included producing the critically-acclaimed film “Avenged” and directing the anti-trafficking short documentary “Until They All Come Home”.)
In addition to producing awareness-raising content, Hidden Tears hosts events and screenings, donating the proceeds to their nonprofit collaborators. They also have a blog, featuring articles and resources, as well as The Hidden Tears Project Podcast, available on Soundcloud.
Jordan and Jason shared the story of creating the Hidden Tears Project, talked about their experiences creating their content, and shared some insights into what’s involved in using the new medium of 360-degree virtual reality to put viewers into stories they won’t soon forget.
On this episode of Over Coffee® you’ll hear:
How Jordan and Jason first became aware of the issue of human trafficking;
What was involved for them, in creating Hidden Tears;
Jordan and Jason’s experiences on creating their first two Hidden Tears projects;
A preview of their next (virtual-reality!) projects, Shades of Red and Silencio;
Some of the creative challenges involved, for both directors and talent, in creating virtual-reality films;
Resources and nonprofits dedicated to fighting human trafficking, with whom you can get involved;
The experiences which Jordan and Jason have found most rewarding, so far, in creating their content;
Some of the factors behind the enormous cost of rescuing the victims of human trafficking;
Jordan and Jason’s recommendations for fellow creatives who want to create VR content for a cause;
How you (despite a busy life) can help the Hidden Tears Project–or make a difference by donating time and talent to another nonprofit which serves human trafficking survivors.
AND, HERE ARE THE RESOURCES JORDAN AND JASON MENTIONED:
Saving Innocence – nonprofit devoted to ending the sexual exploitation of children.
Treasures – faith-based outreach support group to women in the sex industry
Love 146 – prevents child exploitation through education, and cares for survivors
Maria Suarez Foundation – Led by survivor Maria Suarez, this nonprofit is dedicated to “eradicating slavery in all forms”: coerced labor, sex slavery or trafficking.
ARC (Association for the Recovery of Children) – Nonprofit organization of former and active intelligence, law and military personnel who work to recover missing and exploited American children in foreign and domestic locations.
Polaris Project – helps survivors, prevents trafficking and pursues traffickers through data and technology
Rights4girls – human rights organization, dedicated to ending sex trafficking and gender-based violence in the United States.
Traffick Free – Chicago-based faith-motivated nonprofit that provides victim services and programs to end human trafficking in the Chicago metropolitan area.
The Freedom Ride Project – This 1,500-mile bike ride to raise awareness about human trafficking started in 2016. Their next Freedom Ride, from Bend, Oregon, leaves September 16, 2017. Here’s their map–and you can also volunteer, sponsor or plan an event through their website.