ITVS, Lisa Sleeth and Jim Butterworth for “INDEPENDENT LENS: Seoul Train” on PBS
An independently produced program about North Korean refugees escaping through China
A great risk to all involved in making it, this one-hour documentary takes viewers into a dark corner of the world to see how desperate North Koreans risk their lives to escape to South Korea through China. First-time filmmakers Jin Butterworth and Lisa Sleeth tell the story of several clandestine escapes where some are captured and persecuted by the Chinese, but other refugees reach freedom. They are smuggled out by activists who illuminate the program with their dedication to human rights, a modern version of the underground railroad that liberated American slaves in the 19th century.
Jim Butterworth and Lisa Sleeth, producers; Aaron Lubarsky, director and editor; Jim Butterworth, Lisa Sleeth, Ishimaro Jiro, Ahn Chol, Oh Young-phil and Chun Ki-won, photographers; Sally Jo Fifer, executive producer for ITVS.