To commemorate International Women’s Day, two-time Academy Award Winner Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy proudly launches “FUNDAMENTAL. GENDER JUSTICE. NO EXCEPTIONS” – a five-episode international documentary series shot and produced by documentary film-makers from SOC FILMS, Safyah Zafar Usmani and Shahrukh Waheed and directed by Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy, in Brazil, Georgia, Kenya, USA, and Pakistan. This is the first time an all Pakistan Crew has created a global series.
Indeed, with this series, SOC Films aims to present and empower the next generation of non-fiction filmmakers in Pakistan. This is also the first global series to be officially presented and released by YouTube Originals and Refinery29.
A production of SOC Films and Global Fund for Women, FUNDAMENTAL follows dynamic activists from five countries who are disrupting the status quo and radically altering the course of history for women and girls – and all historically marginalized people and communities globally.
“FUNDAMENTAL takes us into the lives of gender justice activists around the world who are working to create change at the grassroots level. The activists you will meet in the series are on the front lines of human rights issues, risking everything, yet they are rarely made visible. Our films provide a better understanding of their struggles and show us an intimate portrait of what it means to be a frontline advocate in today’s volatile world. Within movements, there is a great community, and there is solidarity in knowing there are others alongside you –your neighbors in your city as well as those across the globe –who are also fighting for justice. From Brazil and the United States to Kenya, Pakistan, and Georgia, these inspiring activists refuse to accept the status quo, agitating and organizing to create safe spaces and a safer world for other women. It is my hope that the series will inspire viewers to learn more about these issues, and join the fight for gender justice alongside these incredible activists.” said Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy.
At a time of unprecedented political uprisings around the globe, FUNDAMENTAL, a character-driven documentary series, invites global audiences to engage directly with grassroots movements and community leaders who are standing up for gender justice and fundamental human rights. Each of the five episodes profiles a distinct set of remarkable leaders mobilizing to write new futures for themselves, their societies, and the world – working on issues from ending child marriage in Pakistan to pursuing LGBTQI liberation in Georgia, and racial justice in the United States. Indeed, these incredible leaders are at the front lines of fighting for gender justice and mobilizing to write new futures for themselves, their societies, and the world.
In FUNDAMENTAL, the first episode from Pakistan, “Rights Not Roses” focuses on ending child, early, and forced marriages in Pakistan and how community leaders are addressing the root causes of the issue. In this episode, the audiences get to hear directly from Zarmina, her family, and a network of community activists fighting to end the scourge of early and forced marriage in Pakistan, where 21% of girls are married before the age of 18. These include Rukhshanda Naz, a human rights attorney and long-time gender rights leader who is fighting in Pakistan’s courts to extricate girls like Zarmina from early and forced marriages, and whose passionate advocate for ending child marriage is formed by her family’s own experiences with the issue.
The first episode from Pakistan, “Rights Not Roses” can be viewed at YouTube:
Presented by YouTube Originals, the series is a production of SOC Films and Global Fund for Women in association with Fork Films and Secret Sauce Media. Executive Producers include Julie Parker Benello (Secret Sauce Media), Catherine King (Global Fund for Women), Abigail E. Disney (Fork Films), Maria Nunez, Susan Sherrerd, Patty Quillin, and Lynda Weinman. The project has received support from the National Endowment for the Arts and Levi Strauss Foundation. Partnering with Refinery29 on the series, the episode of FUNDAMENTAL will be released of Refinery29’s official YouTube channel and YouTube.com/Learning.
The FUNDAMENTAL production crew also features Directors of Photography Faizan Ali and Nadir Siddiqui, Cameraperson Khurram Victor, Editors and Colorists Husain Qaizer and Sourath Behan, Editors Mishaal Adhami and Anas Ahmed, Sound Design by Sameer Khan, Project Manager Huma Shah, Color Correction of Photography by Murtaza Ali and Line Production by Syed Ayub. The series also features music by Taha Malik with Cameraperson Salome Sagaradze for Georgia and Associate Producers Maureen Wanjiku for Kenya, Nino Isakadze for Georgia and Julia Main for the USA.