by: Jennifer Brodal of MINOT DAILY NEWS

“In North Dakota, every second girl I was meeting would share their personal sexual mistreatment story,” he said.

Khan, a filmmaker and photographer from New York, shared those experiences in writing the screenplay with Bismarck resident and retired elementary teacher Barb Silbernagel. Silbernagel said she was first in touch with Khan when working on his film “Before They Vanish,” which advocates for preservation of the Nokota horses that Silbernagel’s property housed.

In spending time together on her ranch, Silbernagel and Khan had aligned their philosophies.

“If we can help just one person make the right choice, this film will be worth it. I prayed about it,” Khan told Silbernagel. “I think you and I are the ones that are supposed to do this project.”

Silbernagel agreed God had a hand in it.

“Hearing experiences of one woman’s six years of trauma in being sex trafficked was enough for me to say, ‘O my gosh, this is real and I am in and we have got to get it right. The women who have experienced this and their stories are so prevalent and there is such a need to get their stories out there,” she said.

Khan said he began his career in New York, photographing models. He created the film “Legacy” about a model’s expiration in the industry at age 25. Kahn had gone on to create films on topics such as the Holocaust. “Before They Vanish,” also filmed in North Dakota, came about when Kahn was photographing wildlife in Alaska and was referred to the Silbernagels.

“For a very long time I was shooting ads and commercials in New York and paying models, but with wildlife, who did I have to pay?” he said. That is when Khan decided to give 50% of proceeds from his projects to horse preservation. After completion of his latest screenplay, “Trapped,” Khan plans to give proceeds to a project benefitting humans.

Khan also will be holding a drawing for a trip to New York City for three days (hotel and plane ticket) to attend the premiere of “Trapped,” once released in October 2023. Visit www.ejazkhancinema.com/trapped-minot for more information.