In March 2020, POV asked The Rescue List filmmakers Alyssa Fedele and Zachary Fink what's happened since the cameras stopped rolling.
1. Where are Peter and Edem now? How are they transitioning to life after Challenging Heights, in school and at home?
Peter, Edem, and Teye are doing very well! They screened and celebrated the film together with their families and the rescue team at the Black Star International Film Festival in Ghana’s capital, Accra. They’re currently attending a boarding school together in Ghana, close to their hometowns, and they’re all in 5th grade.
2. How are Kwame and other "rescuers" viewed by the local community today? Has the documentary increased their local support or resistance?
The members of the rescue team are viewed with admiration in the communities affected by trafficking. Of course, the traffickers and fishermen on the lake think otherwise. The film is making a positive impact on the ground in Ghana. The rescue team is screening the film in local communities that are targeted by traffickers. They have reported to us that after each screening parents and community members come forward to explain that they didn’t understand what was happening to children they sent to the lake until they saw The Rescue List. And now that they understand, they are reporting the names of children who need to be rescued. These names are added to the team’s rescue list. Several of these children have already been rescued.
3. What is the response to the film in Ghana and other countries where child slavery remains an issue?
Trafficking and modern slavery happen in every country around the world. In Ghana, like elsewhere in the world, many people are unaware of the prevalence of trafficking and modern slavery. The film has brought awareness to this issue, and has also triggered the rescue of trafficked children whose names were reported to the team after local screenings of the film brought it to the audience’s attention.
4. What are your hopes for the film after broadcast? Are there additional screenings or impact campaigns viewers can follow to stay involved?
We have a Take Action page on our website with resources for viewers to learn more about what they can do to support the work of organizations working to end modern slavery: www.therescuelist.com/takeaction
We also have a community screening impact campaign. Please sign up here if you’re interested in hosting a screening in the future: https://www.therescuelist.com/host
We’re also really excited that POV has built out a dynamic, standards-aligned curriculum for educators to use in their classrooms. We hope that teachers across the country tap into this resource and teach a unit on modern slavery using The Rescue List. https://www.amdoc.org/engage/resources/children-wake-collateral-consequences-modern-slavery-childhood/overview/