Body Of Our Own Documentary

by Lily Vetch & Rahemur Rahman in London, England, United Kingdom

£4,995

£22,814 target 8 days left
21% 45 supporters
Keep what you raise – this project will receive all pledges made by 29th October 2021 at 4:51pm

A documentary that works alongside grassroots activists to portray the stories of four Hijra (transgender, intersex, hermaphrodite) in Dhaka

by Lily Vetch & Rahemur Rahman in London, England, United Kingdom

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This is a breathtaking and unforgettable film that delves into the lives of four Hijras (transwomen) residing across Bangladesh and India, as they explore love, community and what it is to call home.

In March 2019 we successfully completed a short of Body of Our Own from a week of filming in Dhaka. The short was received at a private screening with an overwhelming amount of love. But working with the girls for this short period, highlighted the complexities of the situation the Hijras were in and how much more of the story needs to be told. That's why we are here now and why we need your help to make this documentary into a feature - Project Website

Click 'Support Us' to select an award through this site.

Shots from our first trip to Dhaka.

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Through the film we want to provide a space for these Hijras women to vocalise the hurdles they are facing in society so the world can be inspired by their resilience and strength. By deconstructing myths around the Hijras this humanises them and hopefully lessens the fear around them. More Info here.

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This film will explore and challenge gender, sexuality, and class in Dhaka, Bangladesh. The audience are taken through the mosaic lives of Neshi, NoorJahan, Jannat and Momo, as they battle for acceptance in a predominantly Islamic society. We see them fall in love, fight for their right to work and survive in a Hijra community. As the Hijra start to gain more rights in Bangladesh we will document how this manifests itself within the community. If these legislations have legitimate effect, or if it is tradition, that yet again stands in the way of progress… More info here.

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Hijra is a culture and community in South Asia. The west will recognise these Women as; hermaphrodites, castrated men and transgender women. They partake in the culture and activities of Hijra Giri which include begging, performing and blessing babies. Guru Ma’s head the many family structures of Hijras across Dhaka & South Asia. More info here. More info here.

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Neshi’s detailed stories were always told with such personality which was why we felt she was a strong principle character. Her main line of work is traditional Hijra Giri; begging and blessing babies as well as sex work at night. Momo, Jannat and NoorJahan are our secondary characters. More info Here.

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3 x A3 colour posters

BTS from our shoot in October 2019. Printed on Fotospeed Smooth Pearl from D studio.1632932993_posters_all_by_eachother_smaller.jpg

1) NoorJahan in between Fabric

2) Photo of Jannat on her mirror

3) Jannat practicing for the dance performance that night

BOOO t-shirts

These recycled cotton t-shirts are manufactured at Rapanui's factory. Please purchase through this site, not the manufacturer. We were really attracted to their process and supply chain because they not only protect their workers, but also the planet. The writing is a quote from the film in Bangla and it is translated as:

“Like others, I want to live in our society with my head held high.”

We are selling a mens' style t-shirt. Please check sizing on the manufacturing website.

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Up-cycled coin pouches 

Made from leftover waste around Rahemur's studio. Each pouch will have a little surprise in them.

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This site doesn't allow for a variation in postage destination costs and so we've averaged out final figures to make it possible to ship the products world wide. Packaging included in final figure.

The directors greatly believe in protecting the planet and people and so we've spent time looking into the best products that aren't just adding to landfill waste. Email [email protected] for anymore questions about this.

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Lily Vetch is an experienced photographer and film-maker known for documenting the complexities of being queer within the South Asian community in London. Vetch’s valuable expertise in directing and producing films is teamed with Rahman’s access. 

Being a queer British Bangladeshi, Rahemur Rahman has created a fashion brand celebrating his identity and the rich cultural heritage of naturally dyed textiles. Through his exploration in Dhaka in textiles, Rahman has built relationships with local creative individuals from all genders and classes. This network is how this film has access to a transparent never seen before portrayal of the Hijra community.  

FAQ questions can be found here.

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Co-Director & Co-Producer:

Lily Vetch is a film-maker and photographer based in London. She has shot and directed for brands and publications including i-D Magazine, Hero Magazine, L’Oreal, Khiel’s, Sony, Rahemur Rahman, Jameela Jamil, Elle India, The Uyghur Tribunal and the TATE Museum. 

Co-Director & Co-Producer:

Rahemur Rahman is a fashion designer and activist, focussing on work around gender neutrality and sexuality within the South Asian community highlighting good sustainable fashion practice. Having recently come out to his family as a gay man, his personal connection to the subject gave the project a richness as well as a thorough understanding of the cultural problems in Bangadesh around the LGBTQi+ community.

Producer & Impact Producer in Bangladesh:

Lara Salam is a producer, writer, and creative consultant. She has worked for organisations like UNICEF, the BBC, National Geographic, the Nike Foundation, World Bank, and Warner Bros; her work has appeared in publications like Vogue and Deux Magazine.

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Dec/Jan - Second trip to Bangladesh 

May 2022 - Third trip to Bangladesh

This schedule is COVID dependant check back here and on our social channels for updates.

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Fees for producers/directors - £3,500

Equipment - £6,440

Travel/transport - £3,800

Perdiems - £1,000

Legals - Finance

Contingency @ 10% - £2,074

Total - £22,814

This is the budget for only our first hurdle: the second trip out.

A more in depth budget is available here.

This will change over the course of the project. Please check back here and on our website for updates. 

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We are very lucky to have the support and guidance from two amazing charities that focus on Hijra welfare and rights. The safety, when exposing these women’s identities, is something that is being steered and advised by everyone involved in this film. We are incredibly lucky to also have subjects who are open and have granted us access into their lives knowing that this film will be for public consumption. More info here.

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1620318102_titlecards13.jpgSome words from people who really know their stuff...

Joya Sikder 

Joya is a transgender rights activist who has been working in Bangladesh for 20 years. She is the founder and currently the President of Somporker Noya Setu (SNS), an organisation that works to ensure rights of members of the transgender and LGBT communities through advocacy, mobilisation, sensitisation workshops and policy dialogues.

Andee (Dee)

Dee is a BAFTA nominated film producer. Her work includes MCQUEEN, a documentary on Alexander McQueen which premiered at Tribeca in 2018 and was nominated for two BAFTAs. Prior to this Dee accumulated extensive experience within the TV and film industry working on major Hollywood blockbusters, documentaries and multi returning documentary series aired on NAT GEO, DISCOVERY CHANNEL, HISTORY CHANNEL, PBS to name but a few.

Kyle Knight:

 Senior Researcher, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Rights Program at Human Rights Watch

More support:

Shale Ahmed - Dhaka, Bangladesh

Shale Ahmed is the Executive Director of Bandhu Social Welfare Society, a Community led Organization working on improving sexual health and promotion & protection of rights of Sexual & Gender diverse populations across Bangladesh since 1996. 

Robert Miller - London, United Kingdom

Rob Miller (executive producer) began his career working for a human rights organisation before crossing over into documentary. He has over fifteen years experience of developing and producing documentaries for UK broadcasters. 

More info here.

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Short film:

DOP - Michael Filocamo

Production Sound Mixer - Masrur Rahman Masud

Editor - Chloe Hardwick

Assistant Editor - Ollie Paxton

Post-production sound designer - Edward Guy

Colourist - Liz Glennard

Translator 1 - Amiya Nandita Dewan

Producers/directors: Lily Vetch & Rahemur Rahman

Full credits from first short to be found here.

Rewards

This project offers rewards in return for your donation.

£35 or more

12 of 100 claimed

BOOO t-shirts

These unique, MEGA sustainable and ethical t-shirts have been designed by the directors in collaboration with some of the wonderful Richshaw drivers at Prohibita. They are an important token of the film and by wearing them you're not only becoming a part of our project, but also helping us to publicise the project. Includes £10 P&P. Ships worldwide.

£5 or more

Kindness donation

Thank you for being a kind contributor, you've helped make this film feel a lot more possible. We will send you a cloud of good energy as you go about your day.

£10 or more

Meal for the crew! 3 Recipes for you!

£10 covers a meal for all the crew during long shooting hours. As a thank you we will send you three amazing local Bengali recipes which is straight from Bengali kitchens.

£25 or more

0 of 100 claimed

Handmade Pouch + Surprise

This reward includes some hand-made pouches (sewn by yours truly: Lily & Rahemur) made from off-cuts of fabric. Inside we will also be including a surprise. Includes £5 P&P. Ships worldwide.

£50 or more

0 of 100 claimed

Posters - BTS from film

3 x limited edition A3 colour posters (sold separately - £50 per poster). Contains shots of BTS from our shoot in October 2019. Printed on Fotospeed Smooth Pearl from D studio, signed by directors with the edition number. 1) NoorJahan in between Fabric 2) Photo of Jannat on her mirror 3) Jannat practicing for the dance performance that night. Includes £12 P&P. We ship worldwide.

£130 or more

0 of 10 claimed

BOOO Clanswomen

Join us as a family by purchasing 4 t-shirts. You will be saving £10 by buying four. Please email us your different sizes as it's not possible to order a variety of sizes on this site. These unique, MEGA sustainable and ethical recycled cotton t-shirts have been designed by the directors in collaboration with some of the wonderful Richshaw drivers at Prohibita. They have a beautiful purple tint, like Dhaka at sunset. Includes £10 P&P. We ships WW

£175 or more

0 of 50 claimed

T-Shirts + 3 x Posters

You'll be an expert in BOOO merch by the time you buy these. 1 x our recycled cotton BOOO t-shirts + all three posters: 1) NoorJahan in between Fabric 2) Photo of Jannat on her mirror 3) Jannat practicing for the dance performance that night. Printed on Fotospeed Smooth Pearl from D studio, signed by directors with the edition number. Includes £15 P&P. We ship world wide :).

£500 or more

1 of 15 claimed

Special Attention

A as a massive thank you we will include you in our film credits (cinema and online releases). 2xtickets to BOOO premiere. You will also receive a BOOO t-shirt in the post + All three posters: 1) NoorJahan in between Fabric 2) Photo of Jannat on her mirror 3) Jannat practicing for the dance performance that night. Printed on Fotospeed Smooth Pearl from D studio, signed by directors with the edition number. Includes £15 P&P. We ship world wide :).

£2,000 or more

0 of 2 claimed

Exec-Producer

You will be stated as an exec producer in our credits which will be shown in cinemas and online. You will also receive personal updates once a month by email. 5 x free tickets to the premier of BOOO. 1 x BOOO t-shirt. Finally a very exclusive early access to a preliminary cut of BOOO before we release the film to the public. Please get in touch if you want to know any specific details about this reward. T-shirt include £10 P&P & ships world wide.

£15 or more

1 of 1 claimed

Handmade Pouch + Surprise

This reward includes some hand-made pouches (sewn by yours truly: Lily & Rahemur) made from off-cuts of fabric. Inside we will also be including a surprise. Includes £5 P&P. Ships worldwide.

£45 or more

1 of 1 claimed

Prints

3 x A3 colour posters (sold separately - £45 per poster) BTS from our shoot in October 2019. Printed on Fotospeed Smooth Pearl from D studio. 1) NoorJahan in between Fabric 2) Photo of Jannat on her mirror 3) Jannat practicing for the dance performance that night. Includes £12 P&P. Ships worldwide.

£45 or more

4 of 4 claimed

BOOO t-shirts

These unique, MEGA sustainable and ethical recycled cotton t-shirts have been designed by the directors in collaboration with some of the wonderful Richshaw drivers at Prohibita. They have a beautiful purple tint, like Dhaka at sunset. Our t-shirts are an important token of the film and by wearing them you're not only becoming a part of our project, but also helping us to publicise the film! Includes £10 P&P. We ship worldwide.

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