In July & August 2018 we spent 6 weeks filming in Central Asia as we drove along the Pamir Highway, the 2nd highest road on Earth which traverses Uzbekistan, Tajikistan & Kyrgyzstan.
Please take 3 minutes to watch our trailer - we promise it'll be worth your while!
It’s the first edited piece from our footage & aims to give a taster of what’s to come. You will see a variety of clips from our interviews, conversations as we drive, reactions to car-malfunctions, and glimpses of the immense vista surrounding the Pamir Highway. We were keen to portray an honest but overall positive combination of stories, highlighting the range of themes we encountered, so you’ll hear stories of motherhood, sexuality, domestic violence, divorce, entrepreneurship, religion & modernity.
We're so grateful to everybody who has already donated - enabling us to travel to Central Asia, hire the car and camera equipment, and pay our local translators & guides. The amount spent on the trip was £2300.
We've already had a lot of success with the film:
In March this year we were awarded a John Brabourne Award and grant for emerging filmmaking talent (https://filmtvcharity.org.uk/john-brabourne-awards/the-awardees/years/january-2019/).
In June we were named the winners of the Edinburgh Work in Progress Pitch (https://www.edfilmfest.org.uk/press-industry/industry/eiff-works-progress-call-entries ). And we've just been shortlisted as finalists for the Roy W Dean Film Fund & Lush Film Fund.
However, we still really need your help in completing the film. We need to raise another £10,000 to complete post-production , with the aim of completing the film by Summer 2020. If you know of organisations or companies that could sponsor us, please get in touch.
Here's what to expect:
As (we think) the first solo women to drive this route, we constantly document ourselves - the challenges we face as female drivers, travelers and tourists, and our ability to overcome those hurdles. There are inevitable calamities (no road trip is complete without!) but an inopportune break down is the very thing that brings us into contact with a unique woman or hidden community. We’re open, honest women (and, at times, we think we’re pretty funny) - our own development, both as individuals, females and friends, confronting challenges while pushing ourselves to new limits provides the underlying narrative.
More importantly, we bring a microphone to the unheard voices of local women living in one of the remotest regions on earth. Within 6 weeks we managed to interview 45 women from all walks of life: members of Kyrgyzstan’s only LGBTQ support group, women running their own brewery, survivors of domestic abuse, Tajikistan’s first female trekking guides, Taekwondo champions combating GBV, Uzbeki business women, bee-farmers, conservative Muslims, radical atheists and, we think, the oldest gynecologist in Central Asia! This is their film as much as ours.
Our conversations and interactions with a rich diversity of women bring an intimacy to our road trip, humanising this vastly under-explored stretch of road. No one story is the same, but they all have one thing in common - they speak for themselves: these are stories worth sharing, women worth listening to.
- Olivia Hughes
- Jill Staite
- Caroline Donaldson
Twickenham, Greater London, United Kingdom