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Alienated from his family, a trucker encounters an underage prostitute at a local truck stop and discovers that he is an unwitting participant in a sex trafficking ring.

Based initially on these two stories and the research I conducted in Ohio when I was teaching at Ohio University’s School of Film, I wrote The Turn Out in 2014.

- Pearl Gluck

The Turn Out

Inspired by true events, The Turn Out is a docudrama set against the backdrop of a small town in West Virginia following trucker, Crowbar, through a story of moral dilemma when he encounters a young girl being trafficked at his truckstop.


The film sheds a light on the haunting truth that a large portion of sex trafficking rings in America occurs on a local level and are family operated. 

The Turn Out is the culmination of years of research regarding trafficking, prevention programs, truckers, survivors, and many others willing to share their experiences. The cast consists of real survivors, real truckers, and locals from the on-location filming sites in Glouster, Ohio, Athens County, and Mineral Wells, West Virginia. 

Palinka Pictures

Palinka Pictures is a multimedia production company founded by Pearl Gluck. The aim is to collaborate with artists, media makers, and educators to make a difference through the arts. Palinka Pictures is where individuals inspire art and art inspires community.

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Plays the role of Barbara, a social worker and advocate against sex trafficking

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Plays the role of Nevaeh, the young girl being trafficked at a local truck stop.

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Plays the role of Selina, one of the prostitutes that works at the truck stop.

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Plays the role of Nevaeh's mother.

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Pearl Gluck

Pearl Gluck’s work has been developed at the Sundance Lab and screened at festivals such as the Cannes Film Festival, Pan-African Film Festival, Tribeca Film Festival, San Francisco Jewish Film Festival, and PBS. Her first documentary feature film, Divan (2004) was a Sundance Institute project, opened theatrically at Film Forum in NYC, and was broadcast on the Sundance Channel. Pearl’s narrative shorts, Where Is Joel Baum (2012), Junior (2017), Summer (2018), and Write Me (2019) won prizes such as Best Short, Best LGBTQ Short, Best Actor and Best Film at festivals worldwide. The Turn Out is her first fiction/documentary hybrid endeavor. She continues to make both documentary and narrative films that explore themes of class, gender, and faith. In addition to making films, Pearl teaches Screenwriting and Directing at Penn State University.

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Story Behind

The Title

Story Behind

The Cover Art

Survivor's Ink, an organization dedicated to helping survivors of human trafficking overcome the painful reminders of their past by offering cover-up tattoos or removal services for brandings and/or scars they received while being trafficked, was founded by Jennifer Kempton in 2014. Jennifer was a survivor of trafficking herself and was a tremendous advocate for social change. Her organization is the inspiration behind the cover art for The Turn Out. The individual sketches were each initially drawn on parchment by Tine Kindermann and can be viewed below along with some of the original mock ups. Tattooist Gretchen Diehl then drew Kindermann's illustrations as the final tattoo designs featured on the poster (seen to the right).

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Press Kit

The Turn Out

A film by Pearl Gluck

(USA, 2018)

RT: 90 minutes


For Inquiries Contact:

© 2018 Palinka Pictures

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