Human Trafficking in Houston: “Truffle Sauce,” a short film, spotlights human trafficking survivors in a 7-stop tour

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) – A coming-of-age drama short examines how trauma presents itself when unhealed through the lens of a misguided 25-year-old college student trying to catch up with human trafficking escape by selling truffle sauce.

“Truffle Sauce” is a short film written by Shannan E. Johnson and directed by Isaac Yowman, CEO of IYO Visuals.

“My goal as the director of this film was to get viewers excited to see a new dope movie and be blown away by the end. Like, ‘Wow. How can I make a difference? How can I contribute to the change?’ I look forward to everyone seeing how this story unfolds,” said Yowman.

In 2020, a total of 987 human trafficking cases in Texas were reported to the National Human Trafficking Hotline, the second busiest of any US state after California.

But that is only a fraction of the actual number of cases. Human trafficking is, by definition, difficult to detect and difficult to measure.

Johnson says she hopes this short will help spread awareness, especially in Houston.
“Many people understand that human trafficking exists. But it’s not usually a conversation people have at their table,” Johnson said. “We (Houston) are at the top of the list for (human trafficking). So it opens up that conversation for people to realize it’s happening in their own backyard.”

In Texas, human trafficking is thought to be highest within the “Texas Triangle,” which connects the metro areas of Houston, San Antonio and Dallas-Fort Worth, and the lower Rio Grande Valley, according to the nonprofit foster and adoption organization bring up

“You see it when you’re in Houston. When you’re on Bissonnet. When you’re on Westheimer. When you’re on Richmond. When you’re on Jensen. When you’re on Greens Road. It’s not just in one community. It’s all over,” Yowman said.

Researchers from the University of Texas School of Social Work estimate that 313,000 people are victims of human trafficking in Texas at any given time. This includes 79,000 child and youth victims of sex trafficking and 234,000 adult victims of labor trafficking.

Johnson and Yowman said the cast, creatives and crew were very deliberate in their choices. The crew is based in Houston and the cast comes from all over Texas to stimulate conversation in the community.

“I wanted to elevate this story and tell it through a lens where people can see themselves in the characters,” Yowman said. He said this perspective will help viewers see that the normal person could deal with trauma.

Yowman said he not only wants to help bring the vision to light, but he wants to make it a collaborative effort and uplift the women involved in the creative process.

“Human trafficking does not discriminate. He does not discriminate based on age. He does not discriminate based on race. He doesn’t discriminate based on gender,” Johnson said. “It happens to women, men, children. Each.”

The film’s debut includes seven public screenings throughout June at locations including MATCH Theater, The Deluxe Theater, Microsoft, VGN Bae Studios and others to raise awareness of human trafficking.

A demonstration of “Truffle Sauce” will be open to the public Wednesday at 7 p.m. at the Studio Movie Grill at 822 Town and Country Blvd.

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To report a human trafficking allegation, please call the National Human Trafficking Resource Center hotline at 1-888-373-7888 or visit humantraffickinghotline.org

To see more human trafficking coverage, click here.

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https://abc13.com/human-trafficking-truffle-sauce-shannan-e-johnson-iyo-visuals/11979052/ Human Trafficking in Houston: “Truffle Sauce,” a short film, spotlights human trafficking survivors in a 7-stop tour

Dais Johnston

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