Writer / Director
Cinematographer / Producer
A young Filipino woman is brought to America by her employers to continue her work as their housekeeper, and promised a life of freedom in her new country, only to be forced into indentured servitude for years. Communicating with anyone outside of the house, including her family and young son, was strictly forbidden. The money she was earning was being held safe for her by her employers, indentured servitude slowly became slavery. Unfortunately, stories like this are all too common in present day, and The Return was actually inspired by a real life event.
Writer and director Matthew Szewczyk collaborated with cinematographer and producer Benjamin Gaskell during the second season of the SmashCut Film Lab to bring this harrowing story to life. With very minimal dialogue, muted colors and a stand out performance from actress Aina Dumlao, The Return shines a light on the very real horrors of modern day slavery.
The award winning short film made its world premiere at the world famous Chinese Theater in Hollywood, and has screened at various film festivals across North America. The film has also been screened at a variety of Human Trafficking Awareness events across the world.