Award-Winning Journalist Nelufar Hedayat Spans the Globe to Follow the Supply Chain of Trafficked Babies, Human Organs, Counterfeit Guns, Precious Metals, Endangered Species,
the International Sex Trade and More from Consumer Back to Source
MIAMI, FL. (October 5, 2016) – We live in a black market world and if faced with life or death, and you had the money, would you buy an organ to save your life? FUSION’s new, original docuseries “The Traffickers,” hosted by award-winning British journalist and television personality Nelufar Hedayat, digs deep to unearth the fine line between the legitimate market and the black market. She exposes a world that is much closer than you think, seeing firsthand how illicit goods and people move from consumer to source. As Nel travels off-the-grid and under-the-radar she discovers that while everything has a price, these underground networks are not as black and white as they seem. The eight-part series premieres Sunday, November 13 at 10:00PM ET with two riveting episodes. “The Traffickers” is produced by Lightbox, cofounded by Academy Award® winner Simon Chinn (“Man on Wire” and “Searching for Sugar Man”) and his cousin, Emmy Award® winner Jonathan Chinn (“American High”).
In the first episode, entitled “Dark Side of Adoption,” the 28-year-old journalist experiences the world of child trafficking first-hand, uncovering how international adoption drives demand for a supply of the world’s poorest children and shedding light on how genuine acts of kindness are corrupted by fraud, theft and deceit. In “Killed for a Horn,” Hedayat follows the bloody path of rhino horn trade which ultimately reveals a dark, secret war between gamekeepers, who protect, and poachers, who steal.
Season one of “The Traffickers,” comprised of eight, one-hour episodes, pulls the curtain back on other headline-making issues including: human organs, guns, gold, sex, pharmaceuticals and pangolins, the most trafficked mammal in the world. With only one camera person in tow, Hedayat travels via train, plane, automobile, boat and even rickshaw, across 22 countries including: Colombia, India, Bulgaria, Greece and Nigeria to shed light on the criminal networks that drive the vast and complicated world of trafficking. In each episode and with the help of local “fixers” she embeds herself into a network of profit-driven dealers, compliant middlemen, bribe-taking officials, poachers and smugglers and fully explores both the players and the process, from visiting dingy alleyways and bustling markets to investigating the transportation networks, packaging factories, and safe houses that are an essential part of the narrative. By securing access to government officials and leaders, and taking advantage of timely intel and her linguistic prowess, she can go where the story takes her, no matter the danger or the distance.
Nelufar Hedayat is an award-winning journalist with her own powerful story. Having fled war-torn Afghanistan as a child herself, Nelufar’s work has often focused on the cultural upheaval experienced by women, children and families in conflict ridden societies. For the past six years, Nel was on assignment with the BBC, Channel 4 and The Guardian covering breaking news, live events and in-depth investigations in some of the world’s most hostile environments. While at the BBC, she secured what she says is her most important sit-down to date, the first television interview with Malala Yousafzai for the TV documentary, “Shot for Going to School,” which Nelufar wrote, co-produced and hosted.
“Making these films has transformed my life and how I see the world. I have realized we are all more interconnected than we believe, and that includes our involvement in the world’s largest black markets,” said Hedayat. “I am hopeful these stories will help spark important conversations and some meaningful change.”
Keith Summa, SVP Content and Programming for FUSION said: “This series is an intriguing mix of ‘The Amazing Race’ and great journalism. With her distinct style, Nel takes us on a journey that makes us all realize we are far more connected to an illicit world than we imagine,” he said. “Nel has overcome incredible odds and obstacles in her life and with that experience comes the kind of no-holds-barred honesty and relatability that will make this a truly eye-opening watch for viewers. Her fearless attitude and sense of justice make for powerful storytelling at a time when telling the truth matters not just to audiences here, but to audiences around the world."
“The Traffickers” is produced by Lightbox and FUSION. Executive producers are Simon Chinn, Jonathan Chinn, Sam Collyns for Lightbox and Keith Summa, Daniel Eilemberg and Isaac Lee for FUSION. Suzanne Lavery serves as co-executive producer.
ABOUT NELUFAR HEDAYAT
Nelufar Hedayat is an award-winning British journalist and TV host who has worked across the BBC, Channel 4 and The Guardian covering breaking news, live events and in depth investigations in some of the world’s most hostile environments. Having fled war-torn Afghanistan as a child herself, Nelufar’s work has often focused on cultural upheaval experienced by women, children and families in conflict ridden societies.
In the six years she worked for the BBC, Nelufar presented, co-produced and wrote documentaries for television, including Shot for Going to School, where she secured Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala’s first television interview, and Music, Money & Hip Hop Honeys for BBC Three. She’s also made radio documentaries on Afghan child suicide bombers for Radio 4 and on faith and marriage for BBC 1xtra. Nelufar’s first film for the BBC, Women War Weddings and Me, was broadcast internationally to critical acclaim and went on to win a Broadcast Digital Award for Best Current Affairs’ Programme and was nominated for a Grierson Award. Nelufar was also a regular presenter on the popular children’s program Newsround for CBBC and has worked on flagship news programs like BBC Radio 4’s Today and BBC2’s Newsnight.
In 2014 Nelufar joined Channel 4’s flagship foreign affairs series, Unreported World, where her shocking report on the unregulated trade in dog meat in Vietnam, nearly broke their Twitter account. In her next Unreported World film, Nelufar went on location in Karachi joining the health workers who risk their lives every day to vaccinate children against polio in Pakistan. The Taliban actively target and kill polio health workers for immunizing children. This was nominated for Best Investigation in the Asian Media Awards as well as earning Nelufar a nomination for Journalist of the Year. Nelufar writes regularly for the investigative online magazine GlamMonitor.com focusing on the hidden and not so beautiful world of the fashion and beauty industry and has written for The Mirror and Guardian. Nelufar speaks four languages including Farsi, Hindi and Dari.
Through impactful journalism and smart commentary, FUSION covers the stories that matter to the rising American mainstream. FUSION content is available to audiences across a broad range of platforms including cable television (channel listings), FUSION.net, various OTT providers and social media platforms. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube. FUSION is a part of the Fusion Media Group, a division of Univision Communications Inc.
Headquartered in London and Los Angeles, Lightbox is a multi-platform media company creating high quality non-fiction programming and was founded by Academy Award winning producer Simon Chinn (Man on Wire, Searching for Sugar Man) and Emmy winning producer Jonathan Chinn (American High, 30 Days). Lightbox has produced documentary series for Xbox Entertainment Studios; NBC Universal’s Esquire Network; and is currently in production with projects for Netflix, ESPN, FX, Fusion, Channel 4 and the BBC. In August 2014, the UK’s Channel 4 took a minority ownership stake in Lightbox, which was amongst the very first companies the broadcaster had ever invested in. Lightbox
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- Nelufar Hedayat
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