WATCH THE TRAILER HERE:
In a country representing upwards of 270 nationalities, 300 languages and 400 registered political parties, it’s difficult not to mingle. While it may seem inevitable that such exposure has led to a rise in inter-cultural and inter-faith relationships over time, this “natural” integration comes with deep pain and hardship for many people, especially within British Muslim communities, where mixed relationships are taboo. We need to engage the public on these issues ASAP. With engagement comes openness, discussion, familiarity, and ultimately change. But we need your help.
What inspired Hidden Heart?
My journey in making this film began in December 2010, off the back of my own experience being in an inter-cultural relationship. While I was fortunate to have the support and love of my family, I realised this isn’t the case for many women. There is a strong stigma attached to inter-cultural and inter-faith relationships within British Muslim communities. I came across women who were hiding their relationship and living a double life for fear of exile or conflict with their close family and friends. I wanted to discuss and explore the cultural and emotional challenges many of these women face within their families and communities, and find out why it’s taboo to love across faiths – why is there so much shame, and so much secrecy?
The aim of Hidden Heart is to protagonists struggle to understand their heritage, faith, and roles in a multicultural society. The bits of the film we've shown have resonated with women across the globe, cultures and belief systems, who are under pressure from tight-knit communities to conform to a prescribed identity.
Why the name Hidden Heart?
The film is called Hidden Heart because for many people this is still a love that dare not speak its name. This film aims to be a part of a movement which challenges taboos and stereotypes impacting such a love. With humour and insight, the film tells a moving story of prejudice, courage, and triumph over that prejudice.
Why is this film important?
This is a subject that is very relevant to the challenges that first and second generation Muslim women face in today's multicultural society. By showing the very real and tender struggles between individual desires and familial attitudes, Hidden Heart aims to increase cultural understanding in Britain. It will show a striking vision of a new Muslim Identity, defying the stereotype that Islam is in opposition to the West.
The Human Rights Act expressly promotes the right of choice in marriage. By highlighting these womens' stories in the public debate, I hope Hidden Heart will inspire the development of useful support outlets for these women and their families, and alert people to this human freedom that is being encroached upon. Hidden Heart will appeal to women's rights activists, interfaith groups and community support groups all working toward breaking down prejudice and fostering understanding between people.
About the Hidden Heart Crowd-Funding Campaign
This film is almost finished, but we really need your help to make it through post-production.
We believe our best chance of making the film with the sensitivity it deserves is to make it independently – i.e. outside television – and then distribute it through festivals and independent cinemas to build a following for the film. But to make it independently, we need support.
So far, we have filmed a great deal of amazing material, which needs to be turned into a polished rough cut that we can show to potential broadcasters and distributors. We are at the stage where we need an experienced editor who can help tell these remarkable stories in the best way possible - a part of filmmaking as important as it is undervalued.
If you think these are powerful stories worth telling, please donate what you can and share this video with as many people as you can (shar.es/MxSjF) through blogs, emails, Tweets, and Facebook posts. With engagement comes openness, discussion, familiarity, and ultimately change.
xx Zara and the Hidden Heart team
Please support this hugely important film by helping us reach our crowdfunding target!
Follow the film's progress!
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Thank you very much to all of you who backed us in this Hidden Heart crowd-funding campaign! While we didn't make our goal this time, we got a step closer, and that's what counts.
We appreciate your help so much, and look forward to sharing updates with you as the film progresses. Please do sign up for our mailing list and stay in touch here: www.hiddenheart.com
Zara and the Hidden Heart team
3. Ask us for blog material, press material, anything to spread the word about this powerful film!
Dear friends of Hidden Heart,
Thank you to everyone who has contributed to our campaign -- we appreciate your support tremendously.
Up until now, we’ve chalked up some major successes:
- Channel 4 news anchor, Jon Snow, gave our campaign a very public shot in the arm when he took to Twitter to spread the word about, what he calls, our “remarkable film”.
- Film’s Director Zara Afzal and Executive Producer Christo Hird have just returned from a fantastic "Works In Progress" screening at the UK's biggest documentary festival, the Sheffield Doc Fest. This was a brilliant opportunity to give the public, critics, and other filmmakers alike a sneak peek at the film so far.
- Hidden Heart has caught the attention of local and national press, with Zara appearing on BBC radio to talk about the film and campaign. Hidden Heart has also featured in Golden Room - an online journal for cross-cultural relations - as well as Lapido Media and Al Arabiya News.
- And just as big... we've relied on YOU and all your readers, partners, friends, colleagues to spread the word, on Twitter, Facebook, in the lunchroom, through email...
With only 2 weeks left, at only 15% funded, we need even more people to get behind the film and help us raise the means to complete the final edit! Please continue to share and talk about the campaign when you can. It makes such a difference!
Together, we can give strength to the voices of so many women.
Very best regards,
Zara and the Hidden Heart Team
Sheffield Doc fest is kicking off in a couple days, myself and producer Christo Hird will be showing our work in progress film on 10th June at 10am. I am super excited and will keep you updated on twitter and facebook of the shenanigans at doc fest ! http://sheffdocfest.com/films/5684
Love, Zara x
Thank you so incredibly much to everyone who has donated to this film so far. We are truely grateful for the overwhelming support. We have hit our first milestone of £1,000 which is amazing!
Please help us spread the word about our crowdfunding by talking to your friends about the film, and sharing the crowdfunding link on your social media pages.
Thank you again,
Hidden Heart team x