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.

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.

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