Creative duo launch crowdfunding project to capture the inspirational tale of one woman’s fight to say no

Starting today Wednesday, May 18, 2016 for thirty days, simultaneously in Italy and worldwide the crowdfunding campaign for the film THE REFUSAL, based on the story of Franca Viola, the first woman in Italy to oppose a shotgun wedding. 

Forces within the global creative industry are joining together to produce the true story of one woman’s inspirational battle for rights in a new film spectacular, ‘Il Rifiuto’. Franca Viola’s refusal to marry her rapist and abuser in a shotgun marriage which made history in the 60’s and now it is coming to light in modern times, with perfect execution from a team of innovative minds.

The driving forces behind the project are Yuri Buzzi and Najma Bhatti, a directing duo known as Four:55, with combined experience both behind and in front of the camera.

 Both were moved by the bravery of Franca Viola, so much so, they chose to lean their talents towards a new type of film in their latest project, telling a hard-hitting tale with the ultimate sophistication they are known for. Established and up-coming talent from around the world has been enlisted to assist in this momentous task.

Like Viola, the screenplay has been written by Sicilian local and established author, Melissa Panarello. Not new to the world of screen, past novels she has written have been adapted into movies. However, Il Rifiuto is the writers exciting debut into screenplays, looking set to tell a story of courage, determination and human rights with perfection.

Yurj Buzzi, director said, “At the age of 17, Franca Viola was kidnapped and raped, but still had the courage to say no to the proposal of marriage by her abuser. At this time, to not accept the proposal would traditionally bring shame on the girl. Yet, Viola was strong enough to pursue her rights and to take him to court. We thought that this true story absolutely had to be told, and we have carefully put together a team of creative minds to help execute this story with the impact it deserves.”

No film would be complete without a score, and Buzzi and Bhatti have ensured this element of the project is also in trusted hands. BAFTA award winning Andrea Morricone (Cinema Paradiso, Capturing the Friedmans) will turn his talent to ‘Il Rifiuto’, adding drama and emotion to an already thrilling piece of cinema.

To help fund the production of Il Rufiuto, a Kickstarter campaign has been launched. Find out more about the talent behind the project, and of course the incredible tale of Franca Viola on their funding page: 

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Dakota Digital for Il Rifuito

Press contact: Eileen Pegg


Tel UK: 01623 428996

Tel US: 917-720-3025


Il Rifutiois a film based on the true story of Franca Viola who was kidnapped and raped at 17 and shocked the public by refusing a shotgun wedding. Join the campaign now to say yes to say NO’.



  • Dakota Digital