UK – VFX Project – 2016

Nida Naima Manzoor (writer-director)

CCFL 2016

Nida Manzoor has won writing competitions with the Guardian, BBC, National Youth Theatre and Channel 4 and was named as a Broadcast HotShot for 2015.  She wrote and directed short film Arcade, which was nominated for Best UK Short at Encounters Short Film Festival (2013), Best Short at Chicago International Film Festival (2013).  Most recently she wrote and directed 7.2, which was funded by Film London and premièred at the London Film Festival.  Nida has been commissioned by Big Talk to adapt 7.2 into a sitcom. She is also adapting a book for ITV Studios and developing her first feature.


Ghazala is a martial arts saga set in 637 BC Mesopotamia (ancient Iraq), loosely inspired by historical accounts of a time of high social turmoil, in particular the rapid demise of women warriors who had up to this point been integrated into the Assyrian army.  A war epic with a feminist heart, this is a story about a flawed hero trying to find her place in a new world.  Expect bone-crunching fights, scintillating swordsmanship, and mother-daughter bonding.

The story follows Ghazala, a high ranking female warrior.  She loves her job, is married to a wonderful man and has a beautiful daughter, Hira.  Ghazala’s world is changing though.  Opposition to the participation of women in the army is growing rapidly, threatening her position.  Ghazala is imprisoned after a lethal fight, and her daughter is taken away by a prince.  Breaking out of her jail, after many years, Ghazala finds Hira, who is happy in the prince’s harem, and kidnaps her.  Hira tells her women cannot fight any more, but her mind is changed when the prince’s forces attack them and Ghazala wins the day.  Mother and daughter head off for new careers as assassins.