UAE: Short film tells the story of girl on wheelchair who flies planes

Inspired by the story of Jessica Cox, the world’s first armless pilot, Launch She supports women empowerment and people of determination



by

Lamya Tawfik

Published: Tue 24 Jan 2023, 6:00 AM

Last updated: Tue 24 Jan 2023, 1:52 PM

A young girl on wheelchair dreams about flying planes but she is discouraged by her parents who tell her it’s impossible. But she is not to be dissuaded. She meets someone who helps her make her dream come true.

This is the plot of a short film that is inspired by one that is. ‘Launch She’, a short movie that carries the name of the organisation that produced was premiered on Sunday at Vox Cinemas, UAE. The story is inspired by Jessica Cox, the world’s first armless pilot.

Kushbu Surana, founder of Launch She, an organisation that supports women in their entrepreneurial path, and the producer of the movie, told Khaleej Times that the movie was part of their CSR initiative in which they offer their coaching and counselling services free of charge to women of determination.

“We train women and help them go from idea launching and our programmes includes nearly 20 instructors, handholding the participants in their journey. We even have angel investors for them to pitch their ideas to. We want to bring more women to business and we have a separate cohort for women of determination,” said Kushbu, adding that everyone is equal.

The 30-minute movie, shot during the pandemic, is the first of a series of creative projects that Kushbu is planning to spread her message. “We’re planning to take it to different countries and to organise more screenings with other cinemas as well. In the future, we are thinking of creating a TV series with different characters,” she said.

Kushbu Surana.
Kushbu Surana.

Emma Brain, the actress who plays the role of the protagonist’s mother, said that one of the main challenges of the movies was the fact that it was shot during Covid-19 and that was no mean feat. “It was a passion project that I wanted to jump on board. The challenge is how do you get people to empathise with the character,” she said, adding that the goal is to have people walk away from a movie like this feeling empowered and feeling the achievements of the character. “We hope that other people appreciate it and take on board the message that we tried to give.”

Madeleine Langdon, the protagonist of the movie who played the role of the girl of determination on a wheelchair, was brought into the movie by her dad Laurance Langdon, who plays her dad in the movie as well. “They were going to cancel the shooting on the same day because the main character pulled out and they wanted to recast. They said we’re looking for a 15-year-old girl who could play my daughter and so I asked her if she wanted to act in it and she agreed,” said Laurance, adding that the entire cast believed in the merit of the project.

It was Madeleine’s first time on screen and one that she enjoyed doing. “It was my first time but I came to it with an open mind," she said. “I just want to focus on school at the moment but would like to pursue acting school."


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