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CIFF - Ghost Fleet

Monday, April 1, 2019
Tower City Center, 230 W Huron Rd., Cleveland OH 44113

Ohio Fair Trade Network partners with the 43rd annual Cleveland International Film Festival to present this shocking documentary that exposes present-day slavery in its worst form and showcases the brave individuals refusing to leave their brothers stranded. 

Directed by: Jeffrey Waldron, Shannon Service

Runtime: 90 min.

From CIFF: Decades of illegal fishing practices have depleted the Gulf of Thailand’s seafood stock, forcing companies to cast their nets off more distant shores. To keep a $6.5 billion seafood industry afloat with no line of employees willing to work on these boats for years at a time, Thai fishing companies kidnap and coerce men into slavery to man their ships. Beaten, starved, drugged, and tortured on these ships out at sea that rarely see land, some men manage to escape by jumping overboard and swimming to small, remote islands dotting the ocean. Although dangerous, the risk outweighs the boat’s inevitable death sentence. GHOST FLEET joins Patima Tungpuchayakul, co-founder of the Labor Rights Promotion Network Foundation, and her dedicated team as they journey from Thailand to the distant islands of southern Indonesia to help these men finally return home. This shocking documentary exposes present-day slavery in its worst form and showcases the brave individuals refusing to leave their brothers stranded. (In English, Thai, Khmer, and Burmese with subtitles) —A.B.

Review: Thailand’s seafood industry is one of the largest in the world, but decades of illegal and unregulated fishing has forced boats to travel farther from Thai shores to find fish. As local fishermen have refused to be at sea for months, some companies have taken extreme measures to solve their labor shortage, paying human traffickers for duped or kidnapped workers from rural Thailand or impoverished neighboring countries like Myanmar and Cambodia. These unfortunate men have been kept at sea in slave-like conditions, brutalized by those in charge, fed amphetamines so they could work around the clock and rarely brought near land. Instead, the catch from their boat was picked up by a mother ship that also dropped off food for the crew.

Some of the men escaped by jumping overboard in remote Indonesian waters and making their way to land. Some of the escapees were caught by the fishing companies and left to languish in squalid private prisons while others managed to hide in the forest. 

Read more here

Screenings of this film at Tower City Center:

Sunday, March 31, 8:50pm

Monday, April 1, 6:35pm

Tuesday, April 2, 12:10pm

See the full schedule of films for the 43rd annual Cleveland International Film Festival at 

Learn more about the Ohio Fair Trade Network here . 

TICKETS. For $1 off the regular ticket price, use the code OFTN

1– online:

2– by phone:  1-877-304-FILM

3– in person: Film Festival Box Office in the Tower City Cinemas lobby

TIP: Many films at the 43rd annual Cleveland International Film Festival (CIFF) will go on standby. Don’t wait until the day of the film to purchase your ticket. Make an early purchase for any CIFF film you’d like to see during the festival. Regular ticket price for non-CIFF members is $16. Students and seniors: $14. College students: films are free with valid ID, M-F 9am-3pm.