Belated congratulations to the team behind PRISON SISTERS which was voted 'best pitch' at last week's IDFA Forum in Amsterdam.
On top of a cash prize, this documentary project received various pledges of in-kind support by industry experts attending the Forum. As part of this, FILM & CAMPAIGN is offering free consultancies to the filmmakers for the duration of the project.
Here's the sample reel and a synopsis for the PRISON SISTERS:
Without doubt, the worst place in the world to be a woman is Afghanistan.
Two young women who became best friends in prison are released from prison: risking her life, Sara escapes to Sweden to find a brighter future, while Nadjibeh is forced to stay in the Taliban nest.
Released from prison, Sara fears for her life. The prison guard is forced to turn her over to her uncle who lives in a small village. Sara is not welcome here anymore – she committed the "moral crime" of falling in love. Locked inside a small room, her uncle plans to kill her – an attempt to save his honour. But Sara manages to draw attention to his plans and soon she is rescued and put in a safe house. A year later the unimaginable happens – Sara is invited to Sweden to attend the premiere of ‘No Burqas Behind Bars’; a film she participated in while in prison. This will change her life forever.
Fiery, outspoken Nadjibeh is fearless in the face of authority. She stood up to the prison guards, the warden, even the government minister himself. She was such a handful that she was moved from Takhar to the much harsher regime at Kabul Prison. A year later, she was also freed from prison and like Sara, she was placed in a safe house in Kabul. There, she disappears without a trace until the media in Afghanistan spread the news that she was executed by her husband in her village in front of the eyes of dozens of men.
Worried about her friend, Sara sets in motion a search for Nadjibeh. After many twists and turns smartphone footage is produced that shows the public execution of Nadjibeh. But Sara refuses to accept that the woman in the video is her friend.
Sara and Nadjibeh were the central characters of our International Emmy-Award-winning documentary No Burqas Behind Bars. Prison Sisters reveals what happened to both women - each with an exceptional fate depicting the horrific reality for women in Afghanistan.
Summaries of all the main pitches at the IDFA Forum are available through The D-Word (for professionals only).