From the impoverished streets of a city in India comes Threads of Hope, a 30-minute documentary about the struggles of underclass women living there by Ferasha Films.
The film will premiere on October 8 at 7 p.m. at First Presbyterian Church in Bethlehem at 2344 Center Street at the Kirk Center.
Immediately following the film, BEC Recordings artist singer/songwriter Philip LaRue will present a concert of original music inspired by his experiences in India. The cost for the event is $5 in advance, and $10 at the door.
Tickets go on sale August 1, 2010 on ferashafilms.com. All proceeds will go to ConneXions India project in conjunction with Servants to Asia’s Urban Poor.
About 1.3 billion people in the world live under the international poverty line and 70 percent are women. In all 456 million Indian people live in poverty. Threads of Hope tells the story of women who work, live and raise their children in the slums of city. It tells how these women’s lives have been transformed through the support of ConneXions, a vocational training center in the city, India,established by Servants, which crafts recycled saris into blankets, bags, and other fair trade products. The goal of ConneXions is to empower women who live in extreme poverty by teaching them skills to use in the textile industry.
Threads of Hope spotlights the lives of two women, Shibani and Krishna, whose lives are transformed through fair trade. Widowed and pregnant, Krishna had very few options in supporting her two children, but now she is able to send them to school through the money she earns at ConneXions. Filmmaker Amanda Ibrahim was particularly impacted by Krishna’s story. “When Krishna’s husband passed away, she was left alone with her two children. Her brother- in-law married her to help her out. But in the end he left her, so now she lives in a slum community and supports her family only through fair trade earnings,” explains Ibrahim. The documentary also includes short interviews with four other women and shows the positive impact that fair trade has on their lives.
The premiere of Threads of Hope will include a photo and art gallery with stories of how women’s lives have been changed through fair trade. The gallery will also feature handmade Indian textiles made by these women for sale to raise money to benefit ConneXions’ work in India.
About Amanda Ibrahim and Ferasha Films
Amanda Ibrahim, an honors student, is a senior at Drexel University, majoring in Entertainment & Arts Management. Ibrahim founded Ferasha Films in 2008 as she set out to film a documentary about street kids in Rwanda called “Umuryango.” She recently won a seed grant through the “Do Something” organization in June 2010. During the summer of 2009, she interned at CBS News in New York City and hopes to pursue a career in TV production. Born and raised in Allentown, PA, she is a graduate of Parkland High School. Ibrahim is passionate about using her visual arts talents to bring attention to the needs of the poor. Her documentary, “Umuryango” is now part of grade school curriculum taught by Global Capacity about children who cannot afford education. After researching places to feature for her next project, Ibrahim found ConneXions and identified immediately with its goals and objectives. In September 2009, she won a scholarship through the McKnight Fund and began filming for Threads of Hope in India.