STAGE 1 : DECEMBER 2014
With a budget of just £14,000, our Komola Collective crew took “Birangona: Women of War” on tour across Bangladesh as part of the initial filming and research stage. (See photos below.)
In just three weeks, Leesa Gazi and the hard-working crew performed the play in seven towns and villages, met with over 30 women survivors, and completed a host of PR interviews. Despite consternation over safety issues, the play received national attention and praise, and for the first time in a decade, the subject matter of the Birangona once again made headlines…
STAGE 2: DECEMBER 2015
Following the securing of basic funds, our production team headed out to Bangladesh to specifically record the testimonies of six key stories. This was completed successfully with over 90 hours of footage filmed and now ready to be edited.
STAGE 3: MAY 2016
Following growing publicity and awareness of the creation of this film, the film’s director Leesa Gazi was contacted by a survivor from an upper-to-middle class background who was willing to trust us with the testimony of her experiences on film.
To date, despite thousands of “middle-class” Birangona women known to have fled to America, Europe and India, few have spoken out of their ordeals for fear of bringing shame upon their families.
The opportunity to enable this brave woman to confront her herstory and highlight the existence of Birangona women across the different stratas of Bengali society, was truly unique, and led to Leesa travelling out to Calcutta for a third, and unexpected bout of filming.
Thanks to the efforts of such supporters and Momotaj Islam and Tia Khanam, we were able to raise funds enough to cover flight and accommodation costs, and are proud to announce that this seventh, powerful story is now on record and ready to feature in the film.