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The Rescue List


In a hidden safehouse in the Ghanaian forest, social workers help two children recover from a childhood enslaved to fishermen on Lake Volta – the largest man-made lake on Earth. But their story takes an unexpected turn when their rescuer embarks on another rescue mission and asks the children for help. The Rescue List charts the unfolding drama of these rescue operations alongside a stirring portrait of the boys’ recoveries as they prepare to return to their families. The film depicts a moving story of friendship and courage that transcends the trope of victimhood, exploring what it means to love and to survive.
Winner of the 2021 Emmy for Outstanding Social Issue Documentary.


  • The Hollywood Reporter
    'The Rescue List': Film Review | San Francisco 2018
    Stephen Farber
  • Indiewire
    ‘The Rescue List’ Review: An Eye-Opening Documentary About One School’s War Against Human Trafficking in Ghana
    David Ehrlich
  • Variety
    Film Review: ‘The Rescue List’ A hotbed of child slavery in Ghana is targeted by activists in this involving activist documentary
    Dennis Harvey
  • Hollywood Reporter
    “A film of compassion and insight.”
  • Indiewire
    “Eye-opening and empathetic.”
  • Indiewire
    “The patience and sensitivity with which “The Rescue List” renders the children is remarkable.”
  • Indiewire
    “Few environments could better express the power of a basic education.”
  • Film Threat
    “Remarkable. The power of this film is that it’s all real.”
  • The Independent Critic
    "Sneaks up on you with its power and impact.”
    “The Rescue List portrays an artful balance of ethnography and visual poetry while it brings to light the overlooked reality of child labor and slavery in Ghana.”

Festival Participation

  • News & Documentary Emmy Awards - 2021
    Outstanding Social Issue Documentary Winner
  • San Francisco International Film Festival - 2018
  • Full Frame Documentary Film Festival - 2018
  • DocLands Film Festival - 2018
  • Mountainfilm Telluride - 2018
  • Black Star International Film Festival - 2018
  • BendFilm Festival - 2018
    Best Documentary Award
  • Heartland International Film Festival - 2018
    Richard D. Propes Social Impact Award
  • Denver Film Festival - 2018
  • DOC NYC Film Festival - 2018
  • Big Sky Documentary Film Festival - 2018
  • Greater Farmington Film Festival - 2018
  • Sebastopol Documentary Film Festival - 2018
  • Ashland Independent Film Festival - 2018
    James Blue Award

Educational Resources

  • Discussion Guide
    The guide includes the filmmaker's statement, synopsis, key participants, key issues, article sources, points to raise after watching the film and discussion prompts. The document also lists film-related websites.
    Gina Tillis
  • Lesson Plan
    The plan covers the collateral consequences of modern slavery on childhood. It lists objectives, materials, activities, step by step preparation when watching the film and engagement options through reflection and writing. The document lists helpful sources and resources for further learning.
    Vivett Dukes
  • Reading List
    Over 20 publications, many from recent years, divided into 4 audience and genre categories: either adult or younger readers, either nonfiction or fiction.

Distribution Company

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