Rodd Rathjen’s ‘Buoyancy’ tackles the confronting issue of child slavery

Four or five years ago writer-director Rodd Rathjen read a story in an environmental journal about forced labour and exploitation of children in Thailand’s fishing industry.

He was so shocked by the revelations of trauma and hardship he decided he wanted to make a feature film which tells the stories of “people whose voices are not being heard.”

The result is Buoyancy, his feature film debut which will have its world premiere in the Panorama section of the Berlin International Film Festival.

Produced by Causeway Films’ Sam Jennings, Kristina Ceyton and Rita Walsh in association with Cambodia’s Anupheap Productions and Melbourne-based Definition Films, the drama centres on 14-year-old Chakra, who is forced to work on a fishing trawler. He soon realises his only hope of freedom is to become as violent as his captors.

Veteran Thai casting director Non Jungmeier found Sarm Heng, who plays Chakra, through the Green Gecko Project, which supports former street children and their families in Siem Reap, Cambodia, through education, health and training.

Continue to the entire article on IF.

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