An award-winning, feature-length film directed and produced by Penn State faculty member Pearl Gluck will screen as part of an event featuring female filmmakers in mid-March in Los Angeles.
“The Turn Out,” which stars survivors and truckers acting in a fictionalized account of their own experiences, will be presented at 6:30 p.m. March 16 during an event sponsored by NewFilmmakers Los Angeles. Ticket and additional information are available at the organization's website.
Among many accolades, “The Turn Out” won as Best Debut Feature at Toronto’s Female Eye Film Festival and earned the Critic’s Choice Award at the Iowa International Film Festival.
Although a fictional work, the film relies on the stories and support of survivors of human trafficking. In addition, Gluck, an assistant professor of film-video in the Donald P. Bellisario College of Communications, works with local activists when she travels to festivals.
“One of the main characters in the film is Crowbar, a long-distance trucker who discovers a teenager is being trafficked at his local truck stop in southern Appalachia,” said Gluck. “He then faces a decision — should he get involved in helping her?”
“The Turn Out” is a departure for Gluck, who’s previous films explored stories from the community of Hasidic Jews where she was raised in New York City. The work shares a common theme, which is how people move from becoming bystanders to crime and horror to what she describes as “upstanders” — those who act to protect or save others from harm.