London, 20th August 2022
CRUSHED WINGS is the first drama film of its kind on Female Genital Mutilation – also known as FGM –and is set to force our eyes open to the harsh reality of this brutal, increasingly widespread cultural ritual.
Shot in hauntingly stunning locations across England, India, and Nepal, this visually enchanting film follows the tragic journey of little girl Ria growing up in a village somewhere in Asia, undergoing a brutal backstreet FGM procedure at age seven. Based on the collective real-life experiences of survivors, the film boldly shines a spotlight on the realities of FGM and its consequences, forced marriage, and honour killing at the hands of Ria’s community.
Over 200 million women alive today have been forced to undergo this practice and the number of women dying because of mutilation is expected to increase significantly over the next 15 years.
“After discovering that no film had been made about this practice, even not in the million-dollar industry of Asia or the West, I knew my next feature had to tackle FGM”, says award-winning Writer/Director/Producer Lalit Bhusal. He launched the project after carrying out extensive research that involved interviews with FGM survivors in different parts of the world, as well as a trip to India to study the experiences of survivors within the Bohra community. On hearing about the suffering many girls endure because of cutting, Lalit set his sights on producing a film that would be a voice for these women, with the ultimate goal of challenging the outdated attitudes that keep the damaging tradition alive.
A total of nearly 200 international cast and crew members have come on board to assist the project voluntarily. The multicultural cast of Crushed Wings features established and aspiring actors from around the world: the London-based Oznur Cifci of Turkish origin, takes the lead as Ria, delivering a spell-binding performance as the ill-fated heroine. And child actress Rosina Bhusal from Nepal, performed as Ria in her childhood, alongside actors from England, India, Pakistan, Somalia, and the Netherlands.
Crushed Wings screenings are taking place around the world at international film festivals. So far, the film has received more than 50 Official Selections and Awards in multiple categories. Director Lalit Bhusal expressed that his most recent international travel, which was to the International Children Care Film Festival in Paris (ICCFF 2022 PARIS) was overwhelming when he received an Audience Award, handed by the 8-year-old Sarah. “The award given by this young girl symbolized all the girls who have been- or will be victimized by the hands of cutters to perform the FGM rituals. A child handing over this award is translated to me as my work and the campaign against FGM being acknowledged” says the director.
Selected clips of Crushed Wings have been agreed to be used by Medical professionals and crime stoppers for education and awareness in England.
Soon the enticing scenes of this ground-breaking film can be viewed on VOD platforms worldwide, hoping to raise awareness and enhance the understanding of abusive cycles which have been passed on through generations, victimizing millions of women even today.
Oznur Cifci (Ria), Rojina Bhusal (Young Ria). Roshini Bhandari (Young Naila), Tania Staite (Emma), Bhasker Patel (Masood), Jetinder Suman (Heera), Nisaro Karim (Raja), Normana Rose (Nasreen), Goma Pandey (Shabana), Parikshit Bickram Rana (Hamid), Sabina Gopali (Amina), Abha Nepal (Teacher), Pradeep Dhakal (Sheikh), Kamal Devkota (Shoaib), Kulchandra Puri (Shoail), Lisa Blissitt (Dr Smith), Hibo Wardere (Hibo Wardere), Mansoor Zahid (Muslim Priest)
- IMDB: Crushed Wings