Movie on sex trafficking to be filmed in North Dakota

Published: Jan. 31, 2023 at 6:15 PM CST
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BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - Bringing an end to human trafficking is no small task, however, many North Dakotans have taken up the call to do what they can to raise awareness and break stereotypes.

“Trapped” will be a feature-length movie filmed in North Dakota this spring. The story will center around sex trafficking, and the idea was sparked by a conversation the director, Ejaz Khan, had in Linton while filming his first movie, “Before They Vanish.” A woman told Khan her story of running away from home to escape abuse and ending up being trafficked. Her story was one Khan, and those he told, couldn’t forget.

”When I came back and I spoke to my wife, my wife said, ‘You can’t ignore this, it has to be done,’” said Ejaz Khan, director of “Trapped.”

From there he reached out to Barbra Silbernagel, a former teacher in Bismarck, to help write the screenplay. She said as a teacher, she learned about sex trafficking through workshops and felt called to help despite her hesitation.

”I finally got on board after a period of convincing, and my comment to Ejaz was, ‘Ejaz, I’m in but we have to get this right. It is just too important,’” said Barbara Silbernagel, a writer for the film.

Khan says he interviewed 82 survivors of sex trafficking and none of the stories were easy to hear, saying some cases started so early they didn’t know any better.

“They thought that it was normal for a male figure to be a father or a boyfriend of the mother to do this to them because it was at such an early age, age of 11,” said Khan.

They started writing the film in November 2021 and will begin filming in March in Bismarck, Linton and a few other surrounding cities. North Dakotans will have various roles in the film, with other actors coming from as far as New York and Los Angeles.

The movie will have a premiere in North Dakota, and producers are also giving away airfare and a hotel stay for the premiere in New York City. To enter for your chance to win, you can visit their website.