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Development   /  Christina Stenseth

88 Days a Slave

Exploited, underpaid and sexually harassed - Same story, different backpacker.


Impact areas



  • DIRECTOR Christina Stenseth, Mark Poole

  • PRODUCER Penny Robins



The film is told from the point of view of the director, Christina Stenseth, who has first-hand experience with farm work in Australia. 88 Days a Slave features the stories of several young internationals seeking a second- or third-year visa by completing rural work under the Working Holiday Visa Scheme. These young people have some astonishing experiences to share about substandard accommodation, wage slavery, racism and sexual harassment and abuse. The emergence of COVID-19 has drastically changed seasonal work on rural farms. We follow the stories that take place in 2021 as farmers grow increasingly short of labour to harvest their crops, with pressure on the government to allow seasonal workers into Australia to fill the gap. The film explores the reasons behind these abuses meted out to young travellers and considers why unsafe work practices, piece rate work, accommodation scams, racism and abuse are tolerated in a supposedly decent egalitarian country - Australia.

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6.45% funded
  • $350,000.00

  • $22,560.00

  • 10

Minimum amount is $ Maximum amount is $





Geir S $300.00
John Hughes $100.00
Patrick Hill $25.00
Ana Rita Miranda $10.00
Screen Australia (OFFLINE DONATION) $22,000.00
Megara Arsenik $25.00
Kate Samardzic $20.00
Cecilie Brandal $50.00
Sindre Holten $20.00
Anonymous $10.00

Issue Summary

A short summary of the issue the documentary is addressing

Beneath the stories of wage theft, exploitation, and harassment, the film explores the underlying reasons why these practices have become so ingrained. And why are they tolerated? We explore the underlying or unconscious racism that bubbles under the surface in Australia, the tolerance of wage slavery, and the willingness to exploit casual labour from outsiders that seems too convenient. Somehow our eyes are shut to the realities and the situation is accepted nationwide. Is it to keep food prices low? Is it because these young people are from overseas and are not “our boys and girls” and will return to their own countries soon enough? Why is it that these events have been going on for years, but nobody does anything about it? This film aims to present the situation so that change will be seen as necessary and important.


What is the impact vision statement of the documentary?

88 Days a Slave sheds a light on a national issue of exploitation and unethical use of internationals wishing to extend their visa through farm work. Our goal is to ignite change in these regions where the exploitation and mistreatment and unsafe working environment is taking place. The desired result is for employers to comply with new and stricter regulations that provide farm workers with a fair and safe stay.


What outcomes does the project hope to achieve from making this documentary?

Increased Audience awareness.

Viewers engaging by sending ‘Demand for Change Letters’ to Government.

Viewers engaging in discussions through social media.

Increased donations towards better conditions.

International awareness that increases pressure for change.

Implementation of protective policies and regulations ensuring farms meet National Employment Standards (NES).

Licensing of labour hire contractors in all states.

Piece-rate agreements of certain crops not meeting minimum wage requirements eliminated.

Mediums providing visibility of safe stay hostels and healthy work environments.

Reduced number of incidents and deaths.

All Working Holiday Visa Holders receive correct payment.

Government agency providing a safety net for backpackers that experience exploitation and/or incidents.


How will partnerships with this project help inform the project development?

To be announced.

Audience Engagement and Social Impact

What actions does this project hope for its viewers after seeing this film?

We hope for viewers to be engaged and help us start a debate about the treatment and living conditions of Working Holiday Visa Holders (WHVH). We have divided our main segments in to two groups;
Government agencies
Millennials and digital nomads

Below engagement activities aim to involve our segments in our goal to improve working conditions.

At our screenings, the audience will be provided a template ‘Demand for Change’ letter where they can fill in their details, place it in an envelope, and put it in our mailbox at the end of the screening, which we will send to Department of Immigration.

- Write to politicians to change policies through our promotion webpage.
We aim for 1000 viewers/supporters to send a letter through our webpage, forcing government to take measures for improvement within 2022.
-Promote the film via social media. Word of mouth - Showing support for our campaign by promotion through social media.

Measurement and Evaluation

What is the projects indicators for success?

Indicators of change track;

Number of viewers/viewings

‘Demand for Change Letters’ sent to the government

Social Media engagement - Hashtags and Powerful statements

Donations towards development of safety providing networks

Number of hosted screenings

International views and engagement

Implemented regulations

Number of provided licenses to Employers

Development of media allowing visibility of safe stays/work such as apps

Our impact vision is achieved when;

We see a reduction of incidents/fatalities

Visa holders receiving unfair pay is declining

Visa holders are receiving government support in difficult situations