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Jury Award recipient in the category of “Issues Illuminated” for the 2018 FILM YOUR ISSUE: Youth Speak Out, Leadership Listens. 20-yr-old Novera Hasan Nikkon from Bangladesh speaks out against child marriages in her country in her submission to “Film Your Issue.” “Film Your Issue: Youth Speak Out, Leadership Listens.”

“In Bangladesh child marriage is a strong social custom and has the fourth highest rate of child marriage in the world. Due to cultural setting, girls are regarded here as an economic burden and are expected to marry very young,” says Novera. “So, for millions of girls in Bangladesh, marriage comes so soon and the damage follows them throughout their lives. This has been the way of lives of girls of Bangladesh from generation to generation.”

Adds Novera: “There is no difference between a Boy and a Girl. Everyone has equal rights to build up his or her destiny. Girls are never Burden.”

“This film is a true story of a young girl named Sharmin Akhter who stood up against her child marriage arranged by her own mother and ultimately succeeded to stop it through a long struggle and become an icon in the society . Certainly, her heroic and victorious example of will encourage the girls to decide their own destiny while showing their parents a way to be supportive of their decision rather than regarding them as an economic burden.”

Novera is an undergraduate student at Jagannath University , Dhaka, Bangladesh . She has been attached with “Dhrupad Communication” since 2013 as an Assistant Producer/Director.

HeathCliff’s take: While it’s a traditional style of doc filmmaking, it’s a polished, accomplished piece of journalism merged with cinema from a 20-year-old that tells a story from the heart of things – a story that is shocking and exists in the world at this very moment.


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