“I used to get called fagot a lot...many different names. I would get bullied a lot on social networking. But I was just so used to my mom calling me names.”
The news media loves reporting about school bullies and violent video games, as if we can neatly wrap the guilt in a package addressed to someone else. But what happens when parents are the abusers? What happens when teachers and counselors turn a blind eye? What happens when child protective services refuse to intervene? 19 year-old Nabeel has finally escaped his mother’s abuse, but over a decade of pain is hard to erase.
“When you’re a child and you don’t have good parents, you’re helpless. You depend on adults, and that’s just something I never had.”
A Bird Without Wings is a documentary that will focus on how the United States government handles child abuse by examining Nabeel’s history with various child protective services. Diving deep into Nabeel’s past, we will see the physical, mental, and verbal abuse he suffered. Talking with experts in the field of law and social services, we will examine how Nabeel’s case fell through the cracks. Following Nabeel, we will learn if it is possible for him to escape the terrifying memories in order to find his own identity.
What We Need
Nabeel and our crew have agreed to work for free because they believe that this is a story that must be told. However, there are many expenses that come with filming a documentary that we must cover:
- Travel and lodging expenses to cover filming in New York
- Providing food for our crew
- Equipment rental (cameras, audio, lights, grip gear, etc.)
- Location rental for interviews
- External hard drives for storing the estimated six terabytes of raw footage that we will record
- Consultations with a lawyer to discuss how the legal system handles child abuse cases
- Marketing and promotional materials
$10,000 is the bare minimum that we will need to produce this film. However, the more funding we raise, the more resources we will have to explore the flaws of the system.
The Impact & What You Get
Child abuse (defined by law as "Any recent act or failure to act by a perpetrator that causes nonaccidental serious physical injury to a child under age 18") is considered a class one misdemeanor in Pennsylvania. This is punishable by two and half years in prison or a $10,000 fine.
By donating you are helping us tell the story of Nabeel's abusive childhood and explore his current search for his sexual identity. As a show of our sincerest gratitude, we are offering a range of prizes to our donors. Each prize is designed to not only represent our film, but also raise awareness for child abuse.
Other Ways You Can Help
Some people aren't able to contribute monetarily, but there are other ways to help. By spreading the word about our IndieGoGo and our Facebook page, you can raise awareness for our cause and help direct potential donors to our project. To stay updated on our progress, please like our Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/WithoutWingsDoc
Thank you for your support!