Principal photography has commenced on the Pembridge Pictures and Umedia production A Girl from Mogadishu – a true story based on the testimony of Ifrah Ahmed, who – having escaped war-torn Somalia – emerged as one of the world’s foremost international activists against Gender Based Violence. Filming in Belgium commenced October 18th, 2017 and will complete in February in Ireland and Morocco.

A Girl from Mogadishu stars Aja Naomi King (How to Get Away with Murder, Birth of a Nation) as Ifrah, Martha Canga Antonio (Black) and Barkhad Abdi (Blade Runner 2049, Eye of the Storm, Captain Phillips) as well as Somali icon, Maryam Mursals.

Born into a refugee camp in war-torn Somalia, Ifrah is trafficked to Ireland as a teenager. Recounting her traumatic childhood experiences of Female Genital Mutilation / Cutting (FGM/C) when applying for refugee status, she is re-traumatized and vows to devote her life to the eradication of the practice. Taking her campaign all the way to the President of Ireland and finally to the European Parliament and United Nations.

Producer, writer and director, Mary McGuckian (The Price of Desire): “Ifrah is just an immensely inspiring person and her story speaks to all of refugee status, sexual violence in conflict, gender based violence, the asylum system as well as FGM. Fundamentally, A Girl from Mogadishu celebrates the power of testimony. How, when women find the courage to stand-up, speak out and tell their truth, the impact can be more than inspiring and empowering, and act as a meaningful catalyst for change.

Producer and Umedia CEO, Adrian Politowski (The Artist, Grace of Monaco) said: “The whole Umedia team are proud to be involved in this incredibly important story. There is no better time than now for this to be told.”

Ifrah Ahmed’s message is: “I hope our film achieves the same impact on FGM/C as the film ‘Philadelphia’ did for the issue of HIV/AIDS”.

A Girl from Mogadishu is a Pembridge (Ireland) and Umedia (Belgium) production, with production services provided by Dune Film Productions in Morocco. Post-production will take place at Windmill Studios, Dublin and Umedia VFX, Brussels.

Produced by Mary McGuckian and Adrian Politowski, Headgear & Metrol Technology present in association with Premier Picture and The Exchange, a co-production with U Media and Screen Brussels, produced in association with Bord Scannán na hÉireann The Irish Film Board. Executive Producer credits include Tom Harberd, Phil Hunt and Compton Ross for Headgear, Anastasia Garret, Jason Garret and David Rogers for Premier Picture, Peter Bevan, Nadia Khamlichi, Tatjana Kozar and Gilles Waterkeyn for Umedia, Lesley McKimm for the Irish Film Board, Brian O’Shea for The Exchange and Ifrah Foundation board members, Emma Beanland and Caroline Keeling.

In collaboration with Ifrah Foundation, A Girl from Mogadishu co-hosted a shoot-event on October 23rd, 2017 set at The Square in Brussels where Aja Naomi King performed ‘The Testimony of Ifrah Ahmed’ for filming to celebrate the publication of the Ifrah Foundation National Action Plan for the abandonment of FGM/C in Somalia.

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