Days after shooting the last take of her first feature-length narrative film in Ohio this summer, Pearl Gluck packed a moving van and headed for her new job at Penn State.
Just months after arriving in the College of Communications, Gluck, an assistant professor in the department of film-video and media studies, was awarded a grant from the Penn State’s Institute for the Arts and Humanities to support post-production of “The Turn Out.”
“I came here with a bunch of footage and now we have to edit the film; this is the start,” Gluck said.
Set in a rural, southern Ohio town, “The Turn Out” focuses on addiction, poverty and abuse in telling the story of trucker Crowbar and teen Nevaeh, who is being trafficked by her own family at a truck stop. While the story is fictional, some scenes are based on real-life experiences gleaned through Gluck’s research and interviews with victims of interfamily trafficking, police officers, social workers and advocates. The idea to look deeper at the issue was borne from conversations with James Gagne Jr., who has worked as a full-time truck driver for 24 years.
“As we worked on it, I even learned more myself,” said Gagne, who co-wrote the film and plays Crowbar. “Girls are enslaved out there.”
“The Turn Out” — a double entendre for trucker lingo and a girl’s first time prostituting — marks Gluck’s first feature narrative, but the Brooklyn, N.Y., native has earned acclaim and accolades for her documentary work and short films. Her first film, the award-winning documentary “Divan,” about her return to the Hasidic community in which she grew up , was screened at the State Theater on Wednesday during a Women Entrepreneurs in Film presentation.
Gluck recently discussed her work and career with the Centre Daily Times.