Every (well almost every) film begins with a vision, a deep internal connection that a filmmaker may have that motivates them to tell a story through motion picture and sound.
The inspiration behind Joan of Arc comes from a true and horrific story, the story of Bijan Ebrahimi.
The Story of Bijan Ebrahimi
British-Iranian Bijan Ebrahimi was a victim of racism and police misconduct, and was murdered in cold blood and left to burn on Capgrave Crescent, Bristol in July 2013. The murder was motivated by racism and the brutal nature of the attack captured the attention of the UK press.
Prior to his death, Bijan made multiple reports of aggression and the threatening acts of his racist neighbours to the police, however, they failed to act. Which begs the question, why? Was this an isolated mistake, or a small part of a larger problem across our institutions and furthermore, our society?
Racism is man’s greatest threat and needs to be defeated. The best way to do this is to unite and challenge racism by spreading the word and contributing to battle against it – the aim of the Joan of Arc film is to do just that.
Joan of Arc – A Vision to Challenge Racism Through Film
After learning about the tragic events leading to Bijan’s death, I felt shocked and saddened that such a thing was still happening in modern day society.
I initially felt helpless, unable to single-handedly challenge racism. However, from experience I knew that film provided the perfect medium to bring like-minded individuals together to support the same cause. And the idea of Joan of Arc was born – a film which tells the story of Bijan Ebrahimi and with it promotes the message of “Why Hate, When You Can Love?”.
So why the title Joan of Arc? What is the connection between Bijan Ebrahimi and the historical figure? Well, firstly they were both burned, and when someone kills by burning their intention is to eliminate every trace of their enemy – to make them vanish in every possible way.
Like Joan of Arc, whose essence survived through becoming a Saint, I believe that Bijan deserves to survive and become a symbol of the daily effort that we all have to put in to stop racism. And through this film, I want him to become a symbol not just of hate, but of love.
What’s Next for Joan of Arc?
So far I’ve assembled a talented team of filmmakers and actors/actresses who feel passionately about the subject, so much so that they have agreed to work for free initially and take a share of profits once the film has been released.
To raise the initial money needed to begin the project, we have launched a campaign on crowdfunding site, Kickstarter. Kickstarter is great way of involving the wider-public and sharing our project with the community.
We need to raise £50,000 in 50 days and our campaign ends on the 1st of April 2016, so if you can, please donate or spread the word.