In this 2007 short, a young refugee boy is smuggled out of an unnamed European country. When he realises he and his companion are victims of people trafficking, he faces an untenable choice. Cargo was produced as director Leo Woodhead’s graduating film while completing a masters in film at Auckland University. A collaboration with Czech cinematographer Martin Priess led to a student exchange with FAMU in Prague and saw the film shot in the Czech Republic. It premiered at Venice Film Festival, before a successful (London, Tribeca, Telluride) festival run.
I couldn’t try and confront a topic as large as child trafficking in a short film, so it simply became about one child’s experience, and his desire for survival. I’m interested in what human beings do in order to survive, and how they can lose the essence of who they are in the process.– Director Leo Woodhead