During the year of 2013, the directors of the film, Khawla and Katebah approached me. We were all working at the KwestOn Media offices in Oakland California. Their family was returning to Yemen for a summer trip. The two had not been to Yemen since their family had moved to the United States of America ten years prior.
They were greatly interested in documenting their experience. Being this was their first attempt at filmmaking, we approached our boss Kevin Weston who immediately backed the project.
We gave the girls the office Canon T2i, two batteries and two memory cards for their journey.
Upon their return, the girls had several DVDs of footage which equaled to about ten hours + of footage. As we slowly processed the footage our boss Kevin Weston was diagnosed with cancer. For that reason it was difficult to move the film forward without our key investor on the project.
Later, Kevin passed away. As producer and editor of the film I decided it was best to put the breaks on production.
Eventually, we slowly continued doing post-production interviews for the next year or so. After finding a key interview that was done in Yemen we decided it was best to focus the arc of the story of Khawla and Katebah's mother desire to get her children a better education. We interviewed Katebah and Khawla several times along with their mother and the difficulties of young women in Yemen attaining an education. Without our executive producer, I had to make a lot of big decisions in how the story was going to be told. It was very difficult and little scary. But Katebah and Khawla were excited about the prospect of completing the film.
The pieces were coming together and we were very happy with where the project was heading. Though obviously on a tight budget we managed to find a composer and craft a beautiful soundtrack to our film.
It has been very rewarding for Khawla, Katebah and myself to get so much attention from the film festival circuits. We have greatly appreciated the platform to share their story.
Written by Emilya Piansay, Producer / Editor of An Educated Woman.
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