Modern Slave

The cage door's open but she's still trapped inside...

Project type: Fiction Short
Co-Writer/Director: Spencer Currie
Co-Writer/Producer: Dan Sima
Associate Producer: Hillary Hendler
Director of Photography: Jonathan Pope
Composer: Jack Gilpatrick

Film Independent’s Fiscal Sponsorship program opens the door to nonprofit funding for independent filmmakers and media artists.


A young girl coerced into sex-trafficking must escape the emotional cage her “Romeo Pimp” has trapped her in before she loses what little hope remains to live and dream.


Modern Slave introduces 16-year old Grace, a resourceful dreamer who ran away from foster care to LA with the hopes of enrolling in cosmetology school. Instead she was sold on false love, a fake sense of protection and fraudulent dreams. While she is told the door to her freedom is open, Grace remains emotionally confined to her dingy motel room where she’s bound to the sex trafficking industry and must fulfill a seemingly endless daily quota – the dreams she was promised always kept out of reach.

Meet the Filmmakers

Spencer Currie — Co-Writer/Director

Spencer has had a passion for film ever since he first persuaded his parents to get him a camcorder at age seven and enlisted his younger sister and friends to act in backyard productions which he cut together on iMovie. He ultimately went on to study creative writing and economics at MIT and Harvard and later directing at UCLA’s night school. His most recent short film, Orion, has been an official selection at The San Diego International Film festival, The International Film Festival of Cinematic Arts, The Hollywood Boulevard Film Festival, Film Invasion Los Angeles, The Ferraro Film Festival (Italy), and a winner of an IndieFEST award. He has a heart for telling stories about characters who undergo a “crisis of faith” with social issues at the foreground.

Dan Sima — Co-Writer/Producer

Dan was born in Romania and raised in Southern California by his single mother. He grew up with a love for film but started his career in business. After seven years in Financial Services, an MBA from USC, and four and a half years on the distribution side of Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, he now produces independent films. He’s passionate about bringing narratives to life that cross cultural boundaries and give a voice to the voiceless.

Hillary Hendler — Associate Producer

As a Los Angeles native, Hillary grew up around the entertainment industry and has always had a passion for film. She began working on her first feature film Hancock in 2007 as a production assistant. After which, she continued to work on numerous features including Angels and Demons and The Amazing Spider Man franchise. She attended Chapman University Film School and received a Bachelor of Arts in Creative Producing. Hillary currently works in the Feature Post Production department for Sony Pictures Entertainment. 

Jonathan Pope — Director of Photography

Jonathan is a Los Angeles based cinematographer, born in Morristown, NJ and raised in the Atlanta, GA suburbs with an eye for dynamic lighting and camera angles that both enhance and propel the most important aspect of all: the story. His work, which includes over two dozen music videos, a feature film, and numerous short films and commercials, has been featured at festivals around the world, including Cinequest, Screamfest, and Cannes.
Jonathan earned his MFA in Film & Television Production from the University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts and graduated magna cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in digital filmmaking from Georgia Southern University. His recent accolades include the 2011 Charles Lang Endowed Scholarship for Cinematography, the 2012 Thomas B. Bush Memorial Scholarship for Cinematography, the official University of Southern California nomination for the 2012 Kodak Cinematography Scholarship, and the USC submission to the 2013 ASC Heritage Award. He has a passion for bringing stories to life that bring people together. 

Jack Gilpatrick — Composer

Growing up in Los Angeles, Jack has always had a passion for film and music. He started collecting synthesizers at an early age and began writing and arranging music. He eventually joined the 80s new-wave band, Naked Eyes as a keyboardist and programmer. Besides his love for music, Jack has also worked for the past fifteen years as a film editor in Hollywood.


For inquiries, please contact