Netflix releases film on heart-rending tale of Roona Begum
Mumbai, 15 October, 2020
Netflix today released the powerful original documentary film, Rooting For Roona, based on the inspiring story of baby Roona Begum and the battle for healthcare for children in India.
Shot over six years in rural India, Rooting For Roona is the story of Roona Begum, a child with a severe birth defect who gets a chance at a life-changing surgery after her photos go viral.
This Netflix Original documentary, directed by award-winning filmmakers Pavitra Chalam and Akshay Shankar, shares the story of an extraordinary girl living and the power of her mother’s love. The film is produced by Bangalore-based production house Curley Street and executive produced by Vanita Boswell.
Pavitra Chalam, director said, “Rooting For Roona is a love story. Her mother’s love, our love for this little girl and an army of loved ones who helped us bring this film to Netflix and the world. In the face of terrifying vulnerability and profound loss we have been able to tell a story of hope. ”
Roona’s story first made global headlines in 2013, when a local photographer captured a photograph of her that went viral and triggered an amazing chain of events. She was born with a birth defect called hydrocephalus, which caused her head to swell to a huge size. Her parents, Abdul (17) and Fatema (22) were told by local hospitals in Tripura that nothing could be done. This 41-minute long documentary celebrates a little girl’s remarkable will to survive and her mother’s unconditional love.
Director Akshay Shankar said, “Roona’s story is as unpredictable as it is inspiring. She beat the odds so often that it became expected of her. In her own gentle way, she made herself heard and now the world will hear her story. I can safely say that the audience will never forget her.”
Like Roona, every year an estimated eight million children - six percent of total births worldwide - are born with a serious birth defect. Rooting For Roona issues a clarion call to the global health community to make birth defects a global health priority.