About this project
WE'VE REACHED OUR GOAL! Thank you to all the 501 backers so far, as well as those who shared our campaign!
But the campaign isn't over yet! We still have 3 days left! For this reason, we have upped our goal to $28,000, to give us a bigger outreach budget to fund more marketing and international screenings. If we reach our new goal, we will give an online viewing of the film to all our backers starting at $15.
Let's keep going!
You probably know us from our viral video, Creepers on the Bridge. The video took the internet by storm, and within days we were featured on Egyptian Streets, Huffington Post, BuzzFeed, Digg, France24, CNN's New Day, Spiegel, and dozens more!
Creepers on the Bridge is just a fun short montage we shot for our full documentary about sexual harassment in Egypt, The People's Girls.
We are searching for your help to fund the full half hour documentary that follows the stories of three people in the city surrounding the issue of sexual harassment.
Watch our TV interview with Huffington Post Live at the bottom of this article. Also listen to an interview with Australian radio to hear us speak about our project! If you speak Arabic, here's a longer interview with Al Hurra TV.
Why did you make Creepers on the Bridge?
When we started filming for our documentary The People's Girls, we knew that we wanted some point of view footage of what it feels like to be objectified in the streets. One Friday we decided to go over to Qasr al Nile bridge, one of the places where it is the most intimidating to walk alone as a woman, and secretly film the stares we received on this walk. We are going to use some of this footage for our full documentary, but when we cut it together, we felt it was really strong as a stand-alone piece as well. We decided to upload the footage to start sparking some interest in our documentary, and before we knew it, it took on a whole life of its own!
So what exactly are you doing?
Our half hour documentary film will consist of three narratives: Esraa, an activist against sexual harassment, Abdullah, a tuk-tuk driver, and an Egyptian lawyer.
Esraa is a 25 year old Egyptian woman, who challenges social norms by performing in storytelling theater pieces about sexual harassment, as well as participating in anti-sexual harassment protests and events.
Abdullah is a 28 year old tuk tuk driver from a working class neighborhood in Cairo. As 8 out of 10 women experience sexual harassment in public transportation, we will observe daily life in the city through the eyes of Abdullah and get his social circle’s perspective on the issue.
We are currently confirming our third character, an Egyptian lawyer at a prominent women’s right organization. We will document her work on one of her court cases where she defends a victim of sexual harassment.
Check out our teaser video for a glimpse of what the documentary will be like!
Why is this issue important?
Sexual harassment has been a growing problem in Egypt over the last couple of years, especially in Cairo. UN Women reported last year that over 99% of Egyptian women have suffered from sexual harassment in their lifetime, and about half of all women report facing harassment on a daily basis. The Thomson Reuters Foundation also recently named Egypt the worst country for women in the Arab world.
Our half hour film documents three people with different views of sexual harassment and their daily lives surrounding the issue. Because patriarchal societies often overlook women’s rights violations, this documentary serves as a catalyst for public debate not only in Egypt but internationally, as prominent cases of sexual harassment frequently occur on a global scale.
This is a story that needs to be told!
Listen to some of the thoughts of Egyptians we interviewed during our search for characters for our documentary, to get a better understanding of the issue in Egypt.
Why the name The People's Girls?
The title “The People's Girls” juxtaposes the two meanings that it has in Arabic. The saying “The People’s Girl” in Egypt is commonly used to describe a well mannered, cultured, respectable girl. When people blame survivors of sexual harassment, they often argue that if only the girl was “the people’s girl,” then she wouldn’t get harassed. The name also refers to all the girls and women of Egypt, as UN Women reported that 99% of women in Egypt have faced sexual harassment in their lifetime.
Who are the directors?
Colette Ghunim is an American filmmaker currently based in Cairo, Egypt. She currently produces informational videos for Habitat International Coalition. She has previously worked with Rotary International (USA), Wataneya Society for the Development of Orphanages (Egypt), and Abriendo Mentes (Costa Rica).
Tinne Van Loon is a Belgian American documentary photographer and filmmaker based in Cairo, Egypt. Her work has been published and exhibited in the United States, Egypt, Brazil, the Netherlands and beyond. She is the founder of Everyday Egypt, a collective of photographers revealing life behind the headlines.
We met last year while Colette was studying a year abroad at the American University of Cairo, and Tinne was working on documentary stories in the city. We've been friends ever since.
What do we need?
We are trying to raise at least $25,000 for filming and post-production. We have been working on a very low budget until now, but we need money in order to make it professionally. Funds will go towards equipment and transportation costs, but mostly to the post-production, including editing, color correction and a proper sound mix. This is a very expensive and essential process to produce a professional workflow of the film. With these finances, our film can go on to screen at film festivals, anti-sexual harassment events and go on to be shown on TV documentary series worldwide.
Because this is exactly how we want to make our documentary! Sexual harassment is a global issue, and we must gather around this issue to stop it all together. While our film is focused on Egypt, people in many countries around the world will be able to learn about the ways sexual harassment is engrained in societies and how abusive behaviors are justified. More importantly, people will learn about the inspiring stories of Egyptian women rising up to fight back!
What happens if the money isn't raised in time?
We get nothing at all, and we will be forced to make the film very low budget. Because it is lesser quality, it will not go on to reach the international audience we are aiming for. We must not let this happen! :(
Please take a look at all of our rewards on the right!
For $15 you will receive our colorful sticker pack with The People's Girls written in Arabic calligraphy!
For $50 you will receive a signed DVD of the documentary!
For $100 you will receive a limited edition 25x25 cm (10x10 inch) photographic print from one of Tinne's pictures shared on her personal instagram, or one of her photographs shared on Everyday Egypt. (note that this is a group project, only photographs credited with @tinnevl are eligible) All these photographs are taken in Egypt.
I am not in Egypt or the USA. Can I still support you?
YES! All you need is a credit card.
How will I get my incentives?
We will mail them to you. If you are in Egypt, we can arrange an in-person pickup.
How do I find out more about the project?
Visit our Facebook page! There will be photos, videos, bios and much more!
Risks and challenges
The biggest challenge we foresee is not being able to stick to our tight post-production schedule to release the film in January 2015. This is why it is essential we reach our goal, as it will allow us the financial support to work on the film full-time and to bring in a professional post-production team based in Egypt.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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