This is a film about hope, determination and courage. It’s about seeing a ray of light in an otherwise dark future, both metaphorically and physically.
With the issue of violence against women in India - particularly rural India - a prevalent one, this is the story of how a group of some of the most targeted are not just protecting themselves but building their confidence, self-esteem and a future for themselves they might not have otherwise had.
By learning the Olympic martial art of Judo, this group of women from central India have carved themselves a life away from abuse, fear and discrimination. And they all see Judo as the way in which they can build a better existence.
Some of them have developed their skills to represent their country at the highest level and some are just starting their journey after suffering abuse. They are all largely poor and without the opportunities much of the world takes for granted yet they have come together to learn how to take care of themselves and each other through the sport. They are united in hope. They are united in spirit and they all have one thing in common.
They are all blind.
Blind and visually impaired women are disproportionately the victims of these attacks with many too frightened to leave their homes. Via a number of non-governmental organisations, charities and volunteers, the blind women of Madyar Pradesh are gaining confidence through their Judo training. For many, it has given them the courage to attend school, find employment and become active members of society.
We plan on documenting their stories in early 2021 but need financial help to tell this important story. Every cent or penny donated will make it easier to get this film made. We have a small but very professional film team - but travel, equipment and getting it seen by as many people as possible can cost. However, any money not spent in the production and distribution of the film will be donated to these women.
Our film shall encourage and enhance reach will help them expand their reach so that more of the visually impaired in similar circumstances will be approached to take part in similar programs for support. It will allow those who are excelling to compete in national and international competitions and show the world what is possible, that the cycle of abuse can end and with it, these women can regain their freedom.
Please help us to give these role models of survivors the platform they need in order to be heard.
In India, more than 40,000 cases of rape and sexual abuse are recorded every year with the number increasing. Sadly, this number is just the tip of the iceberg with many many more going unreported. The vast majority of such attacks are recorded in rural areas and the state of Madyar Pradesh, in central India - this is the place, where we will be filming.
Script/Director & Editor: Rees Dale
Director of Photography: Kriti Dale
Executive Producer: Stefanie Ortmann