Director Biography – Maria Brendle (TAKE AND RUN)

Maria Brendle is an award-winning director and scriptwriter based in Zurich, Switzerland. She received her bachelor’s degree in film from the Zurich University of the Arts and her master’s degree in cognitive neuroscience (aon) from the Academy of Neurosciense Cologne. Maria graduated the renowned Drehbuchwerkstatt Munich. She works with a focus on women issues. http://www.maria-brendle.de

Director Statement

ALA KACHUU – Take and Run tells the story of a young Kyrgyz woman who becomes the victim of a bride kidnapping. Although this custom is prohibited by law in Kyrgyzstan it is still widespread in other regions of the world under the guise of tradition. Only a few girls are able to escape marriage after the kidnapping. Many accept their fate, for fear of being rejected and ostracized.

The film is based on the true fates of young women who have confided their experiences to me during my many years of research. I am convinced that the stories of these women deserve attention. As a filmmaker, I would like to contribute to the sensitization of society for women’s rights and give a voice to those who are rarely heard. The Kyrgyz name for the bride kidnapping is «Ala Kachuu». My aim was to depict its usual course of events, but with a strong character who has the courage to stand up for herself.

Producing the film in a foreign country was a great adventure. Apart from the language barrier, it was also necessary to bring together two completely different cultures. The respectful interaction with each other, the intercultural team spirit and the openness of the Kyrgyz people impressed me deeply and led to one of the most valuable experiences in my life.

By femalefilmfestival

The irony of this festival is that its goal is to not be around in 5 years time. To eventually not be relevant because there is zero need to have a festival geared for female talent and female stories because the stories presented in Hollywood and around the world are a balanced showcase of the human experience from both sexes. Our goal is to achieve a lot of success and then fold into oblivion simply because there is no need for this festival. This festival was created by the FEEDBACK Film & Writing Festival as a simple reaction to a strong need to showcase female talent from around the world in a more profound way. When putting together the weekly festival, the administration noticed a lack of a female presence in the stories being shown at the festival. A classic example and analogy to the frustration is how the festival noticed that even the smaller roles in a screenplay were written for a man to play. There was zero reason for this in many stories. How a police officer, or a political campaign manager, for example with 3-4 lines in a screenplay was a "HE" character. Why? And these are the screenplays written by the winners! The talented one who have obtained agents and have began/beginning their careers as a writer.

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