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Short films which shine light on historic and modern-day slavery to be screened at University

Two short films which shine a light on both historic and modern slavery are to be aired at the University of Hull.

‘The Human Toll of Slavery’, an event organised by the University’s Wilberforce Institute, will be held on March 31 to mark the fifth anniversary of the UK Modern Slavery Act.

At the event, held in Middleton Hall on the University campus, a pair of powerful short films will be screened, to highlight differing perspectives on both historic and modern slavery.

Professor Trevor Burnard, director at the Wilberforce Institute, said: “We hope the event will show the lasting legacy of slavery within Britain.

“It has historically been a British problem, and it is still a British problem today. There is slavery which still exists in this country, so it is not something we can simply consign to the rest of the world.

“At the event, you will see the links between historic and modern slavery, spanning the last four centuries.”

The first short film, ‘Home,’ by Hull-based Restart Productions, tells the modern-day story of a lonely young girl who meets a Romanian farmhand who claims to be a captive.

Starring Ian Beattie from ‘Game of Thrones’, Lily Aslandogdu from ‘A Monster Calls,’ and Daniel Mihai from Netflix series ‘The Crown,’ the film will expose modern day slavery in its truest form.

1745 film

‘Home’ will be accompanied at the event by fellow short film ‘1745.’

Taking the audience back to 18th century Scotland, it chronicles the escape of two young black enslaved sisters.

When they disappear into the wilds of Scotland, the sisters must use all of their courage and strength to survive and stay free.

Screenwriter Moraya Akande stars alongside her sister, Moyo Akande, and Game of Thrones’ Clive Russell.

“If you saw the 2019 film ‘Harriet’ last year, you will see echoes of that in ‘1745,’ in the form of slaves who run away or abscond from their masters,” Prof. Burnard said.

Prof. Burnard, who joined the Wilberforce Institute as its new director in January, will open ‘The Human Toll of Slavery’ event and introduce the historical background to ‘1745.’

After the two short films have been screened, a panel discussion will take place with Dr Alicia Kidd of the Wilberforce Institute, Andrew Smith, chair of the Humber Modern Slavery Partnership, and Mark Kelk, of the Hull Adult Safeguarding Board at Hull City Council.

The Wilberforce Institute received royal recognition when it was awarded the prestigious Queen’s Anniversary Prize in 2015 for its transformational research into slavery. 

More recently, the Institute was selected to be one of the partners behind the new national £10m Policy and Evidence Centre on Modern Slavery and Human Rights.

The Centre aims to transform our understanding of modern slavery and then build a robust legal and policy framework that can focus on eradicating it.

‘The Human Toll of Slavery’ will be held on Tuesday, March 31 from 6 pm to 7.30 pm in Middleton Hall, University of Hull.

Tickets are free.

Find out more and register here.

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