What Will You Rebel For ?

bita haidarianIf three times is a charm, what’s four times?

A done deal?

I’ve posted about Bita Haidarian and her upcoming film, Finding Bibi, three times so far (check out the links for two trailers of the film !):

For this fourth post, since the Movement that’s evolving around the film is reaching a peak of excitement, I’ll publish the latest press release:

Finding Bibi
Austin, TX
New York, NY
www.FindingBibi.com
Founded by Bita Haidarian in 2009
Contact: Todd Brogan (todd@findingbibi.com), Head of Creative Expansion

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE April 30, 2009

FILMMAKER’S FANS MAKE THEIR VOICES HEARD

Voters to Decide New Organization’s First Project

Iranian-American documentary filmmaker Bita Haidarian, whose work has been described as “the best hope for film and politics in Australia,” launched a groundbreaking organization in March, and her democratic approach is already bearing fruit.

More than 200 fans voted in round one to decide the organization’s first-ever project. The three winning submissions vary widely, though all share the stories of women striving for empowerment. One idea suggests providing cameras to individuals participating in empowerment programs, which they would use to create short films on topics of their choice. Another idea proposes that Finding Bibi organize “hijab flashmobs” as a show of solidarity with women discriminated against for wearing head coverings. The final proposal would have Finding Bibi recruiting young women and girls to become journalists, reporting on the status of women in their region and having those reports carried on major networks.

Haidarian and her volunteer staff closed the site to new submissions and reviewed the top three ideas. This morning, they submitted the proposals (with notes added) to fans for one last round of voting. The polls will close in two weeks, at which point Haidarian will announce the winning project and her plans for making it a reality. Fans can vote by visiting FindingBibi.com and clicking ‘Discuss’.

The project contest and the organization were announced in March, both rooted in the spirit of Haidarian’s upcoming film Finding Bibi, which follows her on a journey of self discovery and in search of a “great female story.” Haidarian, the daughter of Baha’i religious refugees from Iran, gave her fans a deciding voice in the new initiative from the start. Fans submitted 20 ideas using the ranking site Slinkset, similar to applications used in social bookmarking sites like Digg. They were then able to vote for or against each other’s ideas.

“We are inspired by so many of the ideas that were submitted, and we’re especially pleased with those that won the first round,” said Haidarian. “We’re hoping for more votes in the final round, and looking forward to input from an even more diverse crowd.” The website, FindingBibi.com, also features updates on the film and its most recent trailer, as well as regular blog posts on the constantly innovating organization. The film is slated for completion late this year.

### If you would like more information about Finding Bibi the film or organization, please direct all questions to Todd Brogan at todd@findingbibi.com.

Spiritual Quote:

“That men and women differ from one another in certain characteristics and functions is an inescapable fact of nature and makes possible their complementary roles in certain areas of the life of society; but it is significant that ‘Abdu’l-Bahá has stated that in this Dispensation ‘Equality of men and women, except in some negligible instances, has been fully and categorically announced’.”
The Universal House of Justice, The Kitab-i-Aqdas, p. 7

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Finding Bibi

finding_bibiI covered this story in two previous posts, Women, Stereotypes, and Truth and Exuberant Emancipation !!!.

Not only is it a forthcoming movie about rational rebelling but it also deals with breaking down the barriers to equality for women.

I recommend you check out one of the previous posts to watch the first trailer; then, return to watch the one in this post—they’re similar but definitely not identical.

Also, check out news about the movement forming around the film and make your voice heard…

Spiritual Quote:

“…there must be an equality of rights between men and women. Women shall receive an equal privilege of education. This will enable them to qualify and progress in all degrees of occupation and accomplishment. For the world of humanity possesses two wings: man and woman. If one wing remains incapable and defective, it will restrict the power of the other, and full flight will be impossible. Therefore, the completeness and perfection of the human world are dependent upon the equal development of these two wings.”
‘Abdu’l-Bahá, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 317

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Women, Stereotypes, and Truth

bita_haidarianThis is Bita Haidarian, Iranian/American Filmmaker.

She’s creating an amazing new film called Finding Bibi.

Here are just a few of the places you can become excited about this film:

Mideast Youth – Thinking Ahead, where you’ll find a podcast with Bita talking about why she’s making the film.

MySpace, where they give you a hint of the issues in the film:
“Bita takes her youthful irreverence and unique vantage point as a woman of both east and west and looks at bizarre variations on pornography in the Middle East, the Ecstasy “Rave” parties in Tehran, the lone female rickshaw driver in Delhi, as well as interview such notables as Anousheh Ansari (first female space explorer), Pakistani Super Model Amna Haq, and human rights activist Mukhtaran Bibi in Pakistan.”

FaceBook, where Bita keeps us up to date on her progress.

And, the Finding Bibi WebSite, where you can get involved with the Movement gathering around this film!

Here’s the captivating trailer:

Spiritual Quote:

“When all mankind shall receive the same opportunity of education and the equality of men and women be realized, the foundations of war will be utterly destroyed. Without equality this will be impossible because all differences and distinction are conducive to discord and strife. Equality between men and women is conducive to the abolition of warfare for the reason that women will never be willing to sanction it. Mothers will not give their sons as sacrifices upon the battlefield after twenty years of anxiety and loving devotion in rearing them from infancy, no matter what cause they are called upon to defend. There is no doubt that when women obtain equality of rights, war will entirely cease among mankind.”
‘Abdu’l-Bahá, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 175

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Exuberant Emancipation !!!

finding_bibiWe often feel paralyzed when it comes to taking action on social issues, even when we feel passionate about them.

Common excuses are:

~ I’m only one person…

~ I don’t have enough information…

~ I don’t know the right people…

~ What would my friends/family think of me…?

Filmmaker, Bita Haidarian, probably felt all these excuses raise their heads but she stood up, faced them, and found solutions. That’s her in the picture but, from what I’ve found out, I feel it’s a parody of her—who she may have been before she found her Mission.

Her film, Finding Bibi, is best introduced by the words from the site that’s forming a full-blown Movement around the experience:

“Bita Haidarian, an award-winning Iranian American filmmaker fresh out of film school, sets off on a journey around the world to answer the big questions—who am I, where do I come from, and where can a girl find a good laser hair removalist?

“Born in America to Bahá’í refugee parents from Iran, Bita tells the tragic-comic story of her family coming to America, her childhood in Texas, trying to fit in, and competitive cheerleading—all part of the quest of a girl who knows more about MTV than Al Jazeera.”

The movie’s name comes from part of Bita’s search for identity—finding Mukhtaran Bibi, a Pakistani woman who suffered a gang rape as a form of “honour revenge”, a custom of local tribesmen. Also by custom, she was expected to commit suicide. “Instead, she spoke up, and using word of mouth, took her case to court where her rapists were arrested and charged.”

The introductory trailer for the upcoming movie is both educative and hilarious. Bita’s interviews with intoxicated fans at a football game, first in her American clothes, then in robe and veil, are at once humorous and chilling. When she goes to Pakistan and introduces her “Lower Your Gaze” glasses so men won’t be tempted to look at a woman’s face, she instructs while instilling trans-cultural good-will.

It’s all about spirited empowerment—irreverent respectfulness. In a word, Amazing!

Spiritual Quote:

“Through your letter to the Universal House of Justice of 14 January you requested a copy of a purported Tablet of Bahá’u’lláh on the subject of humour, and we are instructed to inform you that no Tablet by the Blessed Beauty on this subject is known. However, in a Tablet Bahá’u’lláh states that one of the Names of God is the ‘Humourist’.

“The Tablet mentioned above is revealed in the Arabic language. It has not to date been translated into English. Though it begins with the words, ‘In My Name, the Humourist’….it is a serious mystical poem, revealed in the form of a prayer. The text does not illuminate the reference to the ‘Humourist’. It is, however, interesting to note that, while dealing with an exalted theme, the language of expression is, unexpectedly, that of the common people —light, simple, and even colloquial.
The Universal House of Justice, 1997 Jan 12, The Humourist, p. 1

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