Screens with:

Minnesota Tiger Man

YES! Filmmaker(s) Attending for Q&A

Thu Mar 2, 2023 – 7:30 pm | Hendricks Arts Center
Sat Mar 4, 2023 – 5:00 pm | Hendricks Arts Center

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The Trafficker

Directed by James Isaac Austen
Narrative Short
United States | 33 min | 2022

The Trafficker follows two Chinese immigrants who find their lives intertwined when a human trafficker gets ready to pass off his latest target.

The Trafficker began as my MFA Thesis film while attending DePaul University, from which it grew into a larger, more ambitious project. Influenced by Chinese New Wave Cinema, and especially the works of Edward Yang, The Trafficker is a deeply personal project through which I sought to examine the human, (and personal), longing for connection, struggle against isolation, and the pursuit of, (and sometimes the pausation of), dreams we carry towards the belief that a better life is just beyond the next horizon.

Committed to character and emotion, I sought to leave as much space as possible for the characters as I could create to allow these themes, and this small snippet of their lives, to be as rich and vibrant as possible.

The Trafficker poster | James Isaac Austen, Director

The Trafficker - James Issac AustenJames Isaac Austen

James Austen is a New York born filmmaker currently residing in Los Angeles. He received his MFA in Cinema Directing from DePaul University in Chicago. As an artist, James explores his unique personal experiences and perspectives as a mixed race individual through characters, stories, and settings that are set are the periphery of being–neither here, nor there–trying to find a place in “placelessness.”

Film Information

Director: James Isaac Austen
Country: United States
Year: 2022
Language: Mandarin Chinese
Runtime: 33 min.
Rated:  PG-13


Writer: James Isaac Austen
Producer: Yibo Fan
Cinematography: Nihal Dantluri
Editor: James Isaac Austen

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Principal Cast

BIFF - Beloit International Film Festival
BIFF | Beloit International Film Festival