About this project
This film touches on the current conversation about youth culture, women’s rights, the clash and complement between east and west. This film challenges us to examine our own expectations of what is fair, just and what is possible in this world for any of us.
“When I surf... I can finally just be happy and forget about all my problems on land.”
The Most Fearless is a documentary film in production and a dynamic, universally accessible true story. A film about youth, hope, and surfing; full of compelling characters,set in an exotic location, and rich with contemporary global cultural relevance.
We started this project over a year ago and are halfway through production, with a planned release date in late 2014. We are looking to you to help us fund what we anticipate will be our final production trip in the Spring of 2014. This production trip will coincide with an international surf contest at Cox's Bazaar where Nasima and her friends will compete. By being able to commit production resources prior to, during and after this major event we will be able to fully tell the story of Nasima, her community and friends.
We are actively pursuing all financing options - and have secured a distributor - but timing is everything. To keep up the momentum, and to keep this an independent production for as long as possible is why we are stoked to do this kickstarter campaign now. We hope that you too will see what a great story this is and support our project.
THE MOST FEARLESS IN THE MEDIA:
THE MOST FEARLESS TEAM:
Heather Kessinger: Director/Producer
Nick Ware: Executive Producer
Molly Celaschi : Producer
Jaimal Yogis : Writer
Jordan Dozzi : Director of Photography
Ellen Bruno : Editor
OVERCOMING THE FEAR (the story): In Bangladesh, 80% of the population lives on less than $2 per day, approximately half the children are stunted from malnutrition- a condition caused by the low social status of their women. Nasima was born at the very bottom.
At seven, Nasima was abandoned by her family after refusing to beg in the street. Later, alone and wandering her hometown’s filthy beach,she saw a man walking—“flying”—across the Indian Ocean’s rolling breakers. It was Jafar Alam, Bangladesh’s first surfer, and whatever he was doing, Nasima wanted to try.
Over the next seven years, Jafar, Nasima, and a few local surfers formed the ragtag “Bangladesh Surf Club.” The club became Nasima’s refuge and family. Unable to afford school, surfing became her life, a rare joy that allowed her to escape the poverty, sickness, and corruption around her. The boys in the club –many of them homeless like her – became her brothers. Surfing daily for hours, Nasima got unusually good – fast.
But even surfing fully clothed, Nasima was taunted, teased and abused by the men who called her a whore for going in the water. When other girls started following her lead and joining the club,fundamentalist clerics declared surfing officially forbidden. But Nasima’s perseverance and talent finally paid off when, as a 14-year-old girl, she shocked judges by beating the best of the boys in a locals-only contest with her athletic and joyful surfing style. The win earned her about $100 US dollars –more than a month’s salary in Bangladesh.
But by the following year, Nasima’s dream of surfing professionally was growing dim. After years of absence, her parents suddenly returned to claim the prize money. The club, Nasima’s only family, found itself breaking apart. And she was pregnant after a hasty marriage to a 17-year-old local boy whose conservative family forbid Nasima to continue surfing.
They tried to keep her away from the water, but it could not work. She announced her plans to compete in the next competition even while still pregnant. But just weeks before the competition, a miscarriage sent Nasima into the hospital. Lying in pain and still bleeding, Nasima knows she isn’t well enough to compete when contest day comes. But defying all expectations—including her own—she somehow finds the strength and enters anyway. And wins.
Now, Nasima is sixteen—willful,talented, beautiful, and uncertain as she looks to the future. The Most Fearless is the story of Nasima and her friends,the young surfers of Bangladesh, challenging the world on their own terms, and inspiring us along the way.
Risks and challenges
As always with documentary film, there is the risk that something will happen with characters or location that can put the whole project in jeopardy. We are confident that if we remain flexible and open to however the story unfolds before us that 'The Most Fearless' will be an important and film - making a difference for Nasima and even for all of us in some small way.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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