Faculty member's film, 'The Turn Out,' added as selection on Amazon Prime

February 04, 2021

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — An award-winning, feature-length film, "The Turn Out," directed and produced by Penn State faculty member Pearl Gluck, has been added to Amazon Prime.

Gluck is an associate professor of film production in the Donald P. Bellisario College of Communications.

Although a fictional work, "The Turn Out" relies on the stories and support of survivors of human trafficking. The film stars survivors and truckers acting in a fictionalized account of their own experiences. Among its many accolades, “The Turn Out” won as Best Feature of the New Filmmakers LA Film Festival, Best Debut Feature at Toronto’s Female Eye Film Festival and earned the Critic’s Choice Award at the Iowa International Film Festival.

Gluck, the Donald P. Bellisario Career Advancement Professor, works with local activists when she travels to festivals.

“One of the main characters in the film is Crowbar, a long-distance trucker who discovers a teenager is being trafficked at his local truck stop in southern Appalachia,” said Gluck. “He then faces a decision — should he get involved in helping her?”

“The Turn Out” is a departure for Gluck, who’s previous films explored stories from the community of Hasidic Jews where she was raised in New York City. The work shares a common theme, which is how people move from becoming bystanders to crime and horror to what she describes as “upstanders” — those who act to protect or save others from harm.

Gluck is currently in post-production on her short film “Castles in the Sky,” and she earned a Hadassah Brandeis Institute Research Award for the forthcoming “Little Miss Hasid: The Revolutionary World of the Bais Yaakov Movement.”

Her short film, “Summer” (2018) won Best Short film through Film Movement and the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival. She was awarded a 2000 Sundance Producer's Lab fellowship and a 2001 Sundance Festival mentorship for “Divan” (2004), her first documentary film.  “Divan” was broadcast on the Sundance Channel, theatrically premiered at the Film Forum in New York and played at festivals around the world.

Last Updated June 02, 2021