Director of "Not Today": Filmmaker Jon Van Dyke Developing Second Feature on Human Trafficking
Filmmaker Jon Van Dyke’s latest feature film project, "Wives of God", action drama centered on the demimonde of human trafficking to focus on the centuries-old Devadasi system in India of forced prostitution of young girls.
“Wives of God is a narrative tale of a teenage Dalit girl’s unrelenting search for the truth of her sister’s fate after a tragic encounter with upper caste teenagers. Sadly, it is an all-too-real reality of life unfolding countless times every day in many rural regions of India,” Van Dyke said.
Van Dyke spent months in India over several years researching, writing and directing Not Today (Friends Media, 2012), feature film chronicling the quest of a Dalit father – aided by an American youth (Cody Longo) – to rescue his daughter after she is inadvertently sold into a life of forced servitude as a prostitute.
Winner of several awards, including ‘Best Film’ at the Dixie Film Festival, as well as ‘Best Narrative Feature’ at the Pan Pacific Film Festival, Not Today is scheduled for U.S. theatrical release in April, 2013.
“The human rights abuses suffered by the Dalits are almost beyond description. For the vast majority of these branded outcasts, daily survival means not being mugged, beaten, tortured, abused or kidnapped – or sold into prostitution or involuntary servitude.
The caste system continues to impoverish and enslave millions of people worldwide – many of them children – but it is particularly prevalent still in India. My fervent hope is that my storytelling can contribute to the many others in India and throughout the world dedicated to achieving complete freedom and equality for the Dalits,” Van Dyke added.
Van Dyke said many respected organizations like the Dalit Freedom Network, headed by Dr. Joseph D’Souza, as as well as other important advocacy groups, are pledged to ending the marginalization and abuse of the Dalits, which comprise almost a fourth of India’s one billion
Prior to Not Today, Van Dyke’s feature-length directorial debut, his credits include Unnachgiebige, which premiered at 2004’s Los Angeles Short Film Festival. He also was second unit director for Ping and Breakfast with Einstein.
An acclaimed trainer of domestic and exotic animals for film, television and live performances for more than two decades, Van Dyke’s extensive career as a professional animal wrangler and trainer includes films Lethal Weapon II, Terminator 2, Twister, Little Nicky, Crazy
Beautiful, Two Days in the Valley, Point Break, and Iron Will. Beginning with Mars Attacks, Van Dyke worked closely as trainer with director Tim Burton for more than nine years, who termed his talents “exceptional.”
Van Dyke’s television credits, as animal trainer, include such hit shows as Fraiser, Ellen, Friends, Thirtysomething, L.A. Law and Doogie Howser.
Van Dyke resides with his wife, Shannon, and their children in Southern California.
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