Channel’s longest term grantee partner, Global Fund for Women (GFW) and two-time academy award-winner Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy partnered to create Fundamental–-a documentary film series about feminist grassroots movements and community leaders across the world.
Fundamental, “profiles a distinct set of remarkable grassroots leaders [in Brazil, Georgia, Kenya, Pakistan, and the US] working on issues from ending child, early, and forced marriage in Pakistan to pursuing LGBTQI+ liberation in Georgia. These incredible leaders are at the frontlines of fighting for gender justice, and mobilizing to write new futures for themselves, their societies, and the world.”
One of the Fundamental films, Rights Not Roses, features feminist leader-activist Rukshanda Naz, with whom Channel has organized an event and who is the President of the Pakistan branch of Channel grantee-partner Women’s Regional Network (WRN). Rights Not Roses showcases Naz’s work in offering immediate safe shelter and protection to women and girls in Pakistan fleeing child, early, and forced marriage as well as the institutional/legal changes she is working with Pakistani parliamentarians to effect to prevent such marriages. In Pakistan, 12 million girls are married every year before they turn 18.
“At a time of unprecedented political uprisings around the globe, Fundamental invites global audiences to engage directly with the dedicated and courageous leaders who are standing up for our fundamental human rights and writing new futures for themselves, their communities, and the world.”
Director Obaid-Chinoy explains, “Fundamental takes us into the lives of gender justice activists around the world who are working to create change at the grassroots level. The activists you will meet in the series are on the frontlines of human rights issues, risking everything. Yet they are rarely made visible. So often the movements they lead are not widely visible either—and yet they are so critical to protecting human rights. For this reason, they know they have to do this work, for their communities and their countries. They are the only ones who will do it.”
The highly anticipated docuseries has already reached over 3 million viewers, even during the Covid-19 global pandemic. In their statement on COVID-19, GFW explains why feminist solidarity and funder flexibility is needed now more than ever. The virus has, “made plain the structural inequalities built into our world….” In response, GFW is providing flexible funding, while amplifying the leaders’ voices by encouraging viewers to host virtual screenings and share their series on social media.
Watch the trailer below: