what we can't see

la strada

case study

client: la strada
agency: leo burnett
director: paulina macakova
DOP: dusan hussar

Gritty and uncompromising, a short film about the stark reality behind human trafficking as realized by promising new boogie director, Paulina Macakova. Based on real stories endured by four victims, the various faces of human trafficking were synthesized by creative agency Leo Burnett into two scripts, that were interpreted by Paulina and subsequently produced by Boogie Films, to honour the 20th anniversary of La Strada. La Strada is an organization based in the Czech Republic that provides assistance and protection to persons exploited by human trafficking in the Czech Republic and throughout the EU.

Inspired by Fellini’s La Strada, Paulina proved to have a deft hand in dramaturgy after rewriting the original agency scripts: ”Both stories were quite conventional, so we tried to give it an interesting form”, she says. Upon doing her own research into the problem of human trafficking, however, she was shocked by the startling statistics, and calls this job her most challenging project yet
She was not alone, and Boogie EP Jan Hrubec quickly knew this was an important project: ”After learning that [human trafficking] is happening in developed countries throughout the EU, in our backyards, I decided it would be cool to help to this NGO by making the film, which we did for free.”

Jan Hrubec, executive producer

But charity projects present their own problems. Jan: “You want it to turn out as good as it can be, but at the same time it is done for free or for a minimal fee. So the success of the piece depends on the goodwill of the whole crew.” Thanks to the network of talented individuals — location scouts, makeup artists, wardrobe, actors, and not to mention the very talented DP Dusan Husar, with whom Paulina works regularly — the final campaign is a resounding success.

A special congratulations is in order for Tereza Nejedla, who stepped up to the plate as a first-time production manager: “Locations worked themselves authentically enough, because workers — who actually work in the factory we shot at — live in pretty terrible conditions. Our other location — the club — was untouched; we almost didn’t have to arrange anything, so the story could really play out as true-to-life as possible.”

Tereza Nejedla, production manager