Experiencing Interruptions?

The Square Circle

Alisha is a British girl of Pakistani-origin from a religious and conservative Muslim family. Raised as a ‘good Muslim’ girl, she has battled with an internal conflict most of her young life. Alisha is attracted to and has fallen in love with Ranu, her soulmate. On a night-out with Ranu while celebrating their graduation, a relative takes a picture of Alisha and Ranu kissing and sends the picture to Alisha’s brother, Amjad.
The next morning Alisha faces an aggressive inquisition from her father. Her father, Tariq, a respected and religious member of the local Muslim community is deeply ashamed that his only daughter is a Lesbian. He castigates Alisha for bringing his family’s name and reputation into disrepute. Batool, a submissive Muslim housewife, ashamed of her daughter’s secret life of sin, is blamed by her husband for raising a sinful daughter and is in despair for Alisha’s damned soul.
Alisha is imprisoned in her room, isolated from the outside world while her family deliberates her fate. Tariq presents Alisha with two possible futures. Either Alisha agrees to marry her maternal first cousin, Ali, and live the rest of her life in Pakistan, or, Alisha spends six months at a holy-man, Peer Haji Furqan’s retreat in Pakistan. Furqan is known to successfully exorcise the demon of lesbianism from young girls. Alisha is aware of Furqan’s method, which involves getting young girls addicted to heroin in order to make them docile and obedient. Alisha knows of Sadia, a former resident of Furqan’s retreat, who was cured and subsequently married in Pakistan. Alisha pleads with her family to not make her marry Ali. Undeterred, Tariq leaves the choice to Alisha. Batool, uses acute emotional blackmail to convince her daughter that the only way to save her soul and avoid eternal damnation in hell for her parents is to accept her cousin Ali’s hand in marriage.
During her online engagement ceremony, Ali confides in Alisha that he has made arrangements for Alisha to be cured of her lesbianism at Furqan’s retreat after their marriage. Alisha realises that even after her marriage to Ali there's no escape for her.
On the day of her marriage, after recording her proclamation of love for Ranu, Alisha decides to take her own life.

  • Usha Sharma
    Tribute to Arthur, Thick Torn Curtains, To be or not ot be out
  • Usha Sharma
    Thick Torn curtains
  • Usha Sharma
    Tribute to Arthur, Thick Torn Curtains, To be or not ot be out
  • Ayushi Jain
    Key Cast
  • Subhash Goswami
    Key Cast
  • Ruchika Jain
    Key Cast
  • Sumit Chakravati
    Key Cast
  • Project Type:
  • Genres:
  • Runtime:
    30 minutes
  • Completion Date:
    September 27, 2021
  • Production Budget:
    10,000 GBP
  • Country of Origin:
    United Kingdom
  • Country of Filming:
    United Kingdom
  • Language:
    English, Urdu
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
    Yes - Metfilm Ealing
Director Biography - Usha Sharma

Usha studied film making with the intention of making films and documentaries which would raise awareness and educate people in these social issues which she felt strongly about. She wanted to give a voice to these people who had none.
Usha went on to pursue her Masters in Film and TV Art from the University of Westminster and then studied Producing from Metfilm school in Ealing.
She is now actively involved in filming and writing scripts about social issues and mainly focusses on issues faced by the Asian community. She recently filmed a short documentary on the discrimination and abuse faced by the Asian LGBTQI community in the Asian society by their own people and their own families.
Her first short film “Tribute to Arthur” which she had written, directed and produced deals with the PTSD of a widow caused by her unfaithful husband. Her second short film “Thick Torn Curtains” which she wrote, directed and produced, deals with the “normalising” of domestic abuse in Asian households.

Filmmaking is a passion for Usha and she would like to make many more films which would raise awareness and focus on social issues which normally are gone unnoticed.
Usha Sharma is a professional psychotherapist and counsellor. She has worked as a volunteer counsellor in many women’s centre including Hillingdon Women’s Centre where she was awarded a Certificate of Merit for her support to the community.
During the course of her career, Usha met many women and teenagers who suffered from domestic abuse, sexual abuse and abandonment issues. This got her thinking about the actual support which was available for these women. Many women were actually forced to go back to their abusive partners which resulted in horrific results.
Usha believes she is a natural born leader having led teams since the beginning of her career. She has built a career for herself through hard work, patience and passion.

She has led projects in differing scopes, on different topics and within different media formats. Her hunger for what she does and her genuine need to make a difference is what drives her.

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

I had filmed a documentary on the discrimination, religious homophobia, hate crimes and religious exemptions faced by the Asian LGBTQI community in the Asian society.
I learned from Matt who runs an organisation "nazandmattfoundation" in memory of Naz how, Islam is used to create pressure on children to marry or go to conversion therapy. Many young people of the LGBTQI community are faced with issues of abandonment, existential dilemma, a feeling of being trapped and suffocated to the extent that they feel taking their lives is the only solution for them.
I feel very strongly and passionately about this subject as my cousin was trapped in a false marriage with a gay person. This gay person was forced into marriage by his family. He made her life hell and it resulted in a lot of trauma for her and my family.
People around the world face violence, inequality, torture even execution-because of who they are, who they love and how they look. Sexual orientation and gender identity are integral aspects of our selves and should never lead to discrimination or abuse.
It is most unfair if even today people have to choose between their love and their religion. Religion is about loving other human beings, being compassionate and more accepting towards society. Religion does not teach discrimination or hatred.
My aim with this project is to work towards a world where no one has to face an existential crisis, threat to their lives, or social dilemma over how they were born. We are all equal and should never be made to feel ashamed of who we are or how we are. Children need unconditional love and support from their families and one single sentence “We accept you and love you as you are” is all they need. This one sentence has the ability to save their lives.