Hull Freedom Trail

  1. HULL FREEDOM TRAIL (hullfreedomtrail.com) follows 24 people from Hull in the UK who embarked on an anti-slavery campaign. They drove five 4×4 vehicles to Sierra Leone where they donated the trucks to humanitarian organizations that focus on anti-trafficking.

    HULL FREEDOM TRAIL was inspired by William Wilberforce, a British Member of Parliament who initiated the abolition of slavery in 1807. Unfortunately, slavery remains a major issue in the 21st Century. According to Anti-Slavery-International more than 12 million people are still trapped in slavery world-wide. This scandal certainly is linked to the dramatic increase of extreme poverty, which opens the doors to exploitation in sex-slavery and other forms of bound labour. Raising awareness about these issues is a major goal of Hull Freedom Trail.

    Production Notes:
    My involvement with HFT was a result of my camera work on the Long Way Round and Long Way Down series where I filmed the motorbike journeys of actors Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman. They combined their expedition with insights into Unicef’s child protection projects. Johnathan Richards, the initiator of the HFT project wanted to do something similar about modern day slavery. He called me and immediately I was interested.

    Hull Freedom Trail was more difficult to film than Long Way Round or Long Way Down. First, I didn’t have professional actors in front of the camera but had to find my key characters within a group of 24 ordinary people. Second, there was no production crew of 12 people behind me and, therefore, I filmed, directed and produced the entire show on my own. Third, I had a miniscule budget because a TV commission wasn’t secured before the beginning of the expedition.

    Despite all the limitations of the HFT production I’m extremely proud of this film. It was a great opportunity to combine the entertainment value of the West Africa adventure with the serious issue of modern day slavery. Of course I only scratched the surface of slavery in the 21st Century. We could have done much more with the larger budget of a proper TV commission. However, considering the restrictions, I’m very pleased about the results. I wish more of my commissioned films would offer as much purpose as Hull Freedom Trail.

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  2. HULL FREEDOM TRAIL (hullfreedomtrail.com) follows 24 people from Hull in the UK who embarked on an anti-slavery campaign. They drove five 4×4 vehicles to Sierra Leone where they donated the trucks to humanitarian organizations that focus on anti-trafficking.

    HULL FREEDOM TRAIL was inspired by William Wilberforce, a British Member of Parliament who initiated the abolition of slavery in 1807. Unfortunately, slavery remains a major issue in the 21st Century. According to Anti-Slavery-International more than 12 million people are still trapped in slavery world-wide. This scandal certainly is linked to the dramatic increase of extreme poverty, which opens the doors to exploitation in sex-slavery and other forms of bound labour. Raising awareness about these issues is a major goal of Hull Freedom Trail.

    Production Notes:
    My involvement with HFT was a result of my camera work on the Long Way Round and Long Way Down series where I filmed the motorbike journeys of actors Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman. They combined their expedition with insights into Unicef’s child protection projects. Johnathan Richards, the initiator of the HFT project wanted to do something similar about modern day slavery. He called me and immediately I was interested.

    Hull Freedom Trail was more difficult to film than Long Way Round or Long Way Down. First, I didn’t have professional actors in front of the camera but had to find my key characters within a group of 24 ordinary people. Second, there was no production crew of 12 people behind me and, therefore, I filmed, directed and produced the entire show on my own. Third, I had a miniscule budget because a TV commission wasn’t secured before the beginning of the expedition.

    Despite all the limitations of the HFT production I’m extremely proud of this film. It was a great opportunity to combine the entertainment value of the West Africa adventure with the serious issue of modern day slavery. Of course I only scratched the surface of slavery in the 21st Century. We could have done much more with the larger budget of a proper TV commission. However, considering the restrictions, I’m very pleased about the results. I wish more of my commissioned films would offer as much purpose as Hull Freedom Trail.

    # vimeo.com/7104735 Uploaded 587 Plays 1 Comment

Hull Freedom Trail

Claudio von Planta Business

For DVD orders please go to: hullfreedomtrail.com

After filming Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman’s motorbike journey Long Way Down, documentary film-maker Claudio von Planta took on the challenge to cover the Hull Freedom Trail, an anti-slavery…


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For DVD orders please go to: hullfreedomtrail.com

After filming Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman’s motorbike journey Long Way Down, documentary film-maker Claudio von Planta took on the challenge to cover the Hull Freedom Trail, an anti-slavery campaign with a difference. For Claudio, it was a perfect opportunity to combine the excitement of adventure with an important cause: raising awareness about the grim realities of modern-day slavery and supporting organisations which repair the inconceivable - children forced into war, prostitution and poverty. 

The Hull Freedom Trail project itself was inspired by the legacy of William Wilberforce, the Yorkshire MP whose efforts enlivened the campaign to abolish the global slave trade some 200 years before. Wilberforce’s extraordinary achievements encouraged 24 ordinary people from Hull to follow in their ancestor’s footsteps. 

The challenges they faced were considerable. Starting with nothing but naive enthusiasm, they struggled to raise funds to buy five 4x4 vehicles, then gained support to drive them across some of the toughest borders in Africa, with the ultimate goal of giving them away to the struggling local aid agencies and charities operating in Hull’s twin town - Freetown, the capital of Sierra Leone - a country still wearing the scars of a vicious civil war.

What could so easily have become a dreary failure and tale of woe across two continents instead becomes an incredible life changing experience for those involved, with stories of transformation, new lives and remarkable resilience. A truly uplifting story, this sensitively filmed emotional roller-coaster will live with you long after it’s finished.

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