At a moment in time when women’s rights are under increasing threat globally, comes a new documentary that places an intimate, collaborative lens among four Hijra (trans) women, whose ancient community is caught in the crossfire of conservative Islam, rising Indian nationalism and the legacy of British colonial rule.
Co-Directors, Rahemur Rahman and Lily Vetch, follow four Bengali Hijra women from October 2019 to the present day, across South Asia with filming continuing until the Spring of 2024. From the tough pandemic years, when the women must disperse across India and Bangladesh to seek sex work, to the present day, where Dhaka remains in their hearts, their individual journeys are emerging as inspiring feats of resilience, friendship and vibrant creativity, despite the ever-present threat of violence, prejudice and sexual harassment they must endure.
Rahemur Rahman is an artist, designer, filmmaker & lecturer, whose work addresses heritage and contemporary material and spatial challenges, often at the intersection of artisanal craft-based disciplines. His lived experience in East London as a South Asian Muslim gay man who grew up below the poverty line, feeds into the many narratives he is exploring. Rahman’s practice echoes the symphonies of everyday life and makes use of social knowledge and community engagement. Emphasis is given to storytelling through the diverse range of skills Rahman has acquired through his education at Central Saint Martins as well as his experience at Louis Vuitton and The Victoria and Albert Museum. Rahemur has been recognised by the British Fashion Council as a Changemaker in 2022, and for Outstanding Contribution by the British Bangladeshi Fashion Council in 2019 and 2022 for his work within communities through the arts.
Lily Vetch, film-maker, photographer and producer began her career in fashion, assisting prestigious creatives in the industry. Her dedication to storytelling started when i-D magazine commissioned her to shoot the LGBTQi club night, Hungama, culminating in a two-year documentation of four creatives who were central to this night. Focusing on narratives that empower and celebrate identity, Lily imparts a perspective which is cultivated through years of discourse with the communities she works with. Currently, Lily holds the position of Associate Producer for the acclaimed Emmy and BAFTA award-winning documentary director, Kate Blewett. Notable clients have included: i-D Magazine, Helen Kirkum, Hero Magazine, L’Oreal, Khiel’s, Sony, I Weigh, Elle India, The Uyghur Tribunal, Stonewall, USP.UK and the TATE Museum.
Groundbreaking, courageous and empathetic, Kate Blewett has established herself as one of the most successful undercover documentary film-makers of modern times. Amongst her 125 awards are 5 Emmy’s, 1 BAFTA and 3 BAFTA nominations. Her success has led her to the sofa of the Oprah Winfrey Show and the dining table of the Kennedy Family home. In 2010 she was invited to be a TedX speaker (‘The Power of Television’) and she remains an honoured member of BAFTA. She is truly a global TV powerhouse. This status has come about through her uncompromising faith in the power of television to improve the lives of oppressed men, women and children across the globe.