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Savera UK Youth develop a hard-hitting film about forced marriage

#StopTheWedding was the name of the interactive hard-hitting short film that the Savera UK Youth group created and launched at their Youth Led Conference on 13th November as part of UK Parliament 2018.

The group were meeting regularly from July 2018 to learn about harmful practices, gaining an understanding of the issues that they were going to portray in their film. They then worked with Videographer Jessica Shaughnessy to learn valuable camera skills so they could shoot the film. They developed a storyboard and decided that they wanted to focus mainly on forced marriage. The story they created twisted and turned before they landed on the story-line of a young girl who is escaping a marriage. One thing that the young people focused in on and wanted to make prominent was how social media can be a place of solace for someone who is at risk of abuse. It might be a way that that person reaches out for help even though looking at them in person you would never suspect anything was wrong. With this in mind, the young people made the film interactive by giving their main character Hanna her own profile on Instagram (@trapptbride) where she would share photographs on how she was feeling in her upcoming wedding. It was also important to the young people that the story shows that forced marriage impacts many different communities and cultures and not just the South Asian community. Consequently, the main character Hanna was portrayed to be from the traveller community where forced marriage is also prevalent.

The group decided that the conference would act as the wedding and therefore be the setting for the final scene of the conference. They rallied participants using the hashtag ‘stop the wedding’ and they created a crowd and acted as the guests of the wedding. Hanna was rescued from her marriage due to the intervention of a friend from her school who spotted that Hanna needed help and the support of Savera UK. The young people were so passionate, dedicated and creative during this film project and that can be clearly seen throughout the film. The film was given many positive reviews at its launch at the conference and we will be entering it into competitions in 2019. Savera UK are so proud of the young people who took part in the making of the film and thank Jessica Shaughnessy for her hard work and resourcefulness. We look forward to seeing where the film takes us and working on future projects with this bright and inspiring group of young people.

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