Student Director makes a movie about Sex Trafficking

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Do you know who created a documentary that showed the stories of Latina women with HIV? Have you heard about the UH student who filmed a movie about sex trafficking? Want to see a film about the historic past of Galveston’s brothel industry?

Meet Erica Fletcher – one of Glamour Magazine’s Top Ten College Women in 2010, a Phi Kappa Phi Fellow and University of Texas Medical Branch Presidential Scholar. Yes, she has won lots of awards, but what impresses me most is her courage. It takes courage to tackle a subject that most people don’t talk about. And she has not only done it once, but twice and is on route to do it a third time.

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Here is the interview conducted on June 8th at Sweet Lola in Houston’s midtown. Side note, just as the interview began, one of those beer party bicycles came rolling past us full of drunks. Yep, felt real professional at that moment.

Here we go…

Eric (Me): Maple syrup is the special ingredient in your beef chili. What other sauces do you like?

Erica: Tobacco sauce!

Me: What makes you laugh?

Erica: People, satire, 30 Rock

See a video of the girls who work Houston’s Red Light District

Me: Name one thing about yourself that most people don’t know

Eric: I break glasses a lot, I am a total klutz. Oh, I also still have a flip phone.

Me: Where have you traveled? Where would you like to travel?

Erica: I would love to go back to Venice. As far as new places, I would like to go to Berlin, London, South of France, Australia, and Easter Island.

Me: What are your greatest stresses and what causes you the most anxiety?

Erica: The PhD program I am in!

Me: What has been the hardest thing about being a filmmaker?

Erica: Listening to the women’s stories over and over, trying to deconstruct their experience and get a sense of their personal struggle. Afterwards, piecing it altogether.

Me: What is the next skill or knowledge set you want to add to your repertoire to make you a better person?

Erica: Being immersed in social justice, terminology in describing narratives, filmmaking technical acumen.

Me: Lastly, how has making these films affected you?

Erica: It has made me very appreciative for the things I have. My day-to-day struggles are nothing compared to the issues other people face. I think I also get a little more angry about the rhetoric of some people regarding immigration issues and their limited ethnocentric way of looking at the world.  However, my hope for people watching my films is that they find commonality with others, strive to understand the larger sociological forces at play within individual situations, and work together towards improving our society.

Connect with Erica Fletcher at Facebook.

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