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ABOUT THE FILM

BACKGROUND

In Myanmar, which consists of 135 ethnic minorities, Rohingya Muslims do not officially exist. Despite historical evidence of their belonging to the Rakhine state, they are denied the rights of citizenship and confined to living in ghettos.

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However, it wasn’t always this way.

This documentary film takes you back to the establishment of modern Burma (Myanmar) in 1948, when the Rohingya were first recognised as part of the Burmese nation and were registered as citizens. Denial of their rights didn’t happen overnight. It has been occurring the last 40 years - since 1962, when the military took power in the country. However, transition to democratic rule in 2012 didn’t make their situation better. In fact, it rapidly deteriorated, and culminated in the nation's worst ever humanitarian disaster in August 2017, when, due to ongoing violence in the Rakhine state, more then 700,000 Rohingya Muslims were forced to flee their homes and take refuge in neighbouring Bangladesh.

UNWANTED tells the story of the Rohingya within an in-depth exploration complicated ethnic and political set up of Burma. The film explores the role of military dictatorship, propaganda, Rakhine Buddhists and Rohingya Muslims living side-by-side, and survival at all costs.

DIRECTOR'S VISION

EXILED juxtaposes contrasting views on the events— those of the Burmese military, radical Buddhist monks and Rohingya refugees. The film explores the roots of increasing violence in the Rakhine State from the side of the Burmese military and the recently-appeared Rohingya military insurgency, known as the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ASRA).

Although EXILED is narrated, we let the characters speak to each other and bring forth their own points of view. The story of genocide is told by those people who have committed it as they seek to justify their actions. EXILED is the only film which features former head of Burmese Military Intelligence, General Khin Nyunt, the mastermind of policy of persecution of Rohingya.  His testimony is juxtaposed with the testimony and video evidence provided by Rohingya victims.

Drawing out the stories of the perpetrators of abuses, while also putting forward the views of the victims, will be an effective way to emphasise  the horror of the ongoing situation for the viewer.


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FILMING LOCATIONS

Myanmar 

Bangladesh

Malaysia

Canada

UK

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Progress

MAY 2019 - Post-production is now complete.

FEBRUARY 2019 - Production completed; the film is now at its final cut stage.

JULY 2018 - Our team has completed most of the field work. I filmed in Bangladesh in April during the dry season and now in July, during the Monsoon. We filmed Rohingya who witnessed the Burmese independence of 1948 (those who were recognised as Burmese nationals), people who witnessed the military coup of 1962, and people who witnessed the introduction of Citizenship Laws in 1982 (which effectively stripped from the Rohingya the right to belong to Burma). We also collected documented evidence proving that, up until 1978, Rohingya were indeed stated as Rohingya in official documents; however afterwards they were stated as Bengalis. We have victims of rape and victims of torture. We have managed to cover all important dates in timeline of Rohingya persecutions in Burma and exodus.

I have also completed my first trip to Burma, which enabled me to hear Burmese perspective on the current events. However, importantly, I was able to interview former military officers who were executed the policy of Rohingya discrimination. I also spoke to Rakhine state politicians. I was not allowed to travel to Rakhine State, but this doesn't mean that there is going to be no Rakhine villages and their story in this film - we are working on it. Now we are in the editing stage and we hope to finish a rough cut by November. Wish us luck! :)

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TEAM

SHAHIDA TULAGANOVA | DIRECTOR

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"I am an award winning producer/director. Born and raised in Uzbekistan, I have lived in the UK for the last 20 years. I was a news and current affairs producer/reporter with the BBC (UK) and RFE/RL (Czech Republic). I've produced a number of documentary films, two of which won major prizes; 'Airport Donetsk', the story of the epic battle for Donetsk Airport in Eastern Ukraine, won Best Documentary at Artdocfest 2015, and 'How to Plan A Revolution', which followed the fight of young opposition leaders in Azerbaijan against an autocratic regime, wonthe Prix Europa for best current affairs television program in 2006. Lately, I co-produced Cries From Syria, directed by Oscar-nominated director Evgeny Afineevsky, I have reported. from Occupied Palestinian Territories, Lebanon, Turkey, and Somalia as well as across the Caucasus, Ukraine and Central Asia. I am more known for my BBC Panorama feature 'My Fake Passports And Me', an investigation into passport forgery in Europe."

RICHARD GUARD | EDITOR

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"I have been editing high end documentaries for 25 years and have received 37 national and international awards/nominations."

 

KONSANTIN KAMENSKIY | EDITOR

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British-Russian video editor, producer and stage director. Konstantin started his media career in 2003 working with broadcasting companies and content productions as a director, editor, producer and director of production. Professional opportunities brought him to London in 2007, where he joined Sony Pictures Entertainments as a producer. The list of credits he worked with include 2012, The Karate Kid, Skyfall, as well as the series like The Black List, The Firm, Crossing Lines. Konstantin has got several industry awards including PROMAX Globe in 2009.

SALMAN SAEED | DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY

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Bangladesh based  professional video producer/cameraman regularly working mostly with the international broadcasters like BBC, CNN and ABC News, PBS and many more.  Salman has years of experience filming and producing for various UN agencies in the South Asian Region as well as INGOs (Oxfam Australia/World Bank/CSIS/USAids /ADB/Amnesty International and Orbis UK). His passion is film and photographing underwater and wildlife."

AZIZA SADIKOVA | COMPOSER

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I am a Berlin-based composer. Born and raised in Uzbekistan, she graduated from Royal Birmingham Conservatoire and Trinity College of Music, London. Her music is featured at concerts of world acclaimed orchestras, such as Berliner Philharmonie, Elbphilharmonie Hamburg, Berlin Radialsystem, Berlin Konzerthaus, Leishalle Hamburg, Beethovensaal Stuttgart, Stadthalle Heidelberg, Staatstheater Ingolstadt, Uferstudios Berlin, Queen Elisabeth Hall, Barbican Pit Theatre and etc.  BBC have chosen A.Sadikova for “100 women”   TV documentary. Her works have been featured on BBC Radio, Deutschland Radio Kultur, Rundfunk Berlin, Moscow TV Culture Channel, MDR Figaro Dresden, SWR2.."

PETRO TSYMBAL | POST-PRODUCTION PRODUCER

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Petro is an award winning Ukrainian video editor and cameraman. Petro has edited more then 80 documentary ffilms and movies, directed by award winning Ukrainian directors Ostap Kostyuk and Alexander Stolyarov.  His film  “Zhiva Vatra” (Living Fire”), won Special Jury Prize for documentaries in Cannes 2014 and Special Prize at Hot Docs-2015. In 2019, Petro set up his own production company, KinoArtil, which offers production and post-production services to Ukrainian and international clients.

NATHALIE WEATHERALD | RESEARCHER

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"I am a freelance writer, researcher and visual artist based in the UK. My work focuses on issues of representation and media, particularly regarding women’s rights and forced migration. I completed my History degree at Bristol University with First Class Honours and last year was awarded an MA Certificate in Peacebuilding from Universidad de los Andes, Bogota."

 

TOMAS UTTING | TECHNICAL ASSISTANT

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"I am a student in my final year at school in London, and I shall be studying Product Design at Stanford next year. I am passionate about marketing, outreach and fundraising, and have worked as Head of Growth for the UK and Ireland for Combyne, a German technology startup, since 2017. I have created national-award-winning websites and videos in the past, as well as writing a published childrens' book on climate change. I am very excited to be part of such an ambitious project and to work with such a talented crew."

 

AURIANE SWANNELL | RESEARCHER

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"I am studying the International Baccalaureate in my final year at King’s College School, Wimbledon. I will be studying Biology at Oxford next year. Having managed social media websites for businesses in the past, I believe in the ability of photography and personal stories to induce the most powerful of emotions and changing people’s perceptions. Working on such an important documentary has opened my eyes to the horrors of this genocide, in the same way that it will open those of its viewers."

 

ANDRE BOUZID | RESEARCHER

"I am currently studying the International Baccalaureate programme at King's College School, Wimbledon. Having attended numerous events and written a multitude of articles about politics, global affairs and civic engagement, I immediately joined this project from the outset, because I saw the need for the world to fathom how the systematic persecution of the Rohingya people has progressed over the past few decades. I have had the pleasure of working with a great team, and I eagerly await the eventual release of the film."

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FARIN DAULAH | SHOE CAMPAIGN PARTNER

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"I am a trained education professional from the UK. A mother of two myself, I believe that life-skills education is a crucial part of a child’s overall growth and development. I have extensive experience working with young people in various schools and non-profit organisations in London. I have a degree in Education & English and hold a masters in Business Management. Currently, I am working as an adjunct faculty in North South University teaching Business Communication. I am based in Dhaka, Bangladesh."

SHOE CAMPAIGN

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We have partnered with Yellow Brick Road, an organisation that provides life skills education in Bangladesh, to collect and distribute shoes in the Rohingya refugee camps - shoes are vital in terms of both safety and quality of life during the Monsoon Season.

Life skills taught by Yellow Brick Road cover a range of topics, including but not limited to: teaching children vital self-protection skills, self-esteem, anti-bulling, as well as gender equality and anti-radicalisation.  Yellow Brick Road's vision is to change perceptions in society through educating young children of different backgrounds, open their horizons and teach them to think outside generally accepted points of view. Yellow Brick Road's Website can be found here.

Cooperation between the Unwanted team and Yellow Brick Road started when our director, Shahida Tulaganova, collected a small amount of money to buy shoes for refugee children in Bangladesh, during a talk at a children's club in London. She was introduced to YBRBD's manager Farin Daulah by the film's Director of Photography, Salman Saeed, and Farin took it upon herself to buy shoes and distribute them in a refugee camp in Bangladesh. She traveled to Cox's Bazar herself, negotiated with sellers and gathered a group of volunteers who helped to make our first action together a success - 150 children received shoes and yes, every little helps :)

Please consider making a donation below, in order to help us buy more shoes for Rohingya children living in refugee camps!

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