At MipTV, US-based distributor 02c has announced an international sale for Paua Productions’ Undercover Rescue.
The one-hour programme, which received support just shy of $90,000 from NZ On Air last year, is destined for TV One. The programme, a “shocking, in-depth documentary that brings together covert surveillance footage, personal stories, expert and witness interviews to expose the ugly reality of human trafficking and the sex trade industry” is narrated by Michael Hurst and follows ex-police officer Daniel Walker’s efforts.
Unlike a number of other agencies working in the field, Walker’s efforts are not solely focused on the victims. He also puts a lot of effort into assisting local authorities to be able to bring prosecutions against those engaged in trafficking.
Paua producer Virginia Wright first heard of Walker and his work thorugh Nvader, a organization he founded to combat human trafficking, on National Radio. After hearing more around the time of the launch of his 2011 book God in a Brothel, she met with him to discuss the possibility of making a doco.
Since Nvader is a non-profit organisation, reliant on fuind-raising to continue its work, Walker was very open to the idea of publicity for his work.
Undercover Rescue follows Walker’s work in Thailand, the first country where he’s tried to work with local authorities and develop best practice strategies for securing evidence.
Wright paid special tribute to the team on Undercover Rescue, where the observational and sometimes secretive nature of the filming made for very difficult conditions. Director Dean Cornish pulled a complex story together, while DOP Clayton Carpinter and sound recordist Daniel Loughnan both worked wonders, despite having to work in completely uncontrollable situations.
The sale announced from Cannes is for broadcast in Sweden and Finland. It’s the production’s first international sale. At present, TVNZ hasn’t confirmed an air date for Undercover Rescue here.
Paua has recently produced series Aftermath and is presently in development on feature documentary Back From The Death Zone, for which it hopes to secure production funding this year.