A film by Fredrick Johnson
A shiftless malcontent teams up with a shady Eastern European con artist to make some quick cash, but ends up becoming an unlikely, and reluctant, Robin Hood when he discovers his new partner-in-crime has traveled halfway around the world to free a victim of human trafficking.
2017 | 103 min | Black & White | USA | In English (and maybe some Russian)
Fredrick Johnson is an award-winning filmmaker who has made short films, documentaries, commercials and music videos. After Hours Trading is his first feature film as a writer/director. His films have won many awards, including the CINE Eagle and the Coca-Cola Refreshing Filmmaker’s Award, and his work has screened at festivals around the world, including the South-by-Southwest Film Festival; the Deauville Festival of American Film; the AFI Los Angeles International Film Festival; the Atlanta Film Festival; CineAsia Hong Kong; ShoWest Las Vegas; the One World Human Rights Film Festival (Prague, Czech Republic); and the Pan-African Film Festival (Los Angeles). Fred was born in Pittsburgh and earned an MFA from the School of Cinematic Arts at the University of Southern California.
Fredrick Johnson, Director, Writer, Producer
Jonathan Joseph, Producer
“What’s so funny about human trafficking?” That was the first question I was asked after pitching “After Hours Trading” to a potential funder early in the development process. The question caught me off guard — naturally, there is nothing funny about human trafficking. But, just because it is a serious social issue, does that mean it should be off limits for a film with comedic elements?
Most comedies today, regardless of how funny they are, are relatively superficial. I have always been more interested in films that mix light and dark, that balance the humor with some grim reality of our human experience: “Trainspotting” and the despair of addiction, “Life is Beautiful” and the horrors of the Holocaust, “M.A.S.H.” and the insanity of war, and “Fargo” and the terror of random crime and brutality. This blend and juxtaposition can create situations and moments that are absurd, thought provoking, or genuinely poignant, and hopefully result in a work that resonates more deeply with audiences.
I was also inspired by two documentaries about human trafficking that I saw around the time I first began to conceive of the idea. The films took what had been an intellectual concept to me, “human trafficking,” and made it human by connecting me to the victims and their tragic ordeals. It also made me aware of immensity of the scale of the issue and the millions of people affected. My hope is that this film will entertain those who see it, but also, in some small way, also help to create an awareness of this global concern.