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Last Updated: Friday, 7 May 2004, 14:52 GMT 15:52 UK
World Weddings 2004
Equal rights for gays, religious divides, ancient customs in conflict with modern culture and law, hidden drug abuse and economic migrants.

This special series tackles all these issues through the eyes of the newly (and would-be) wed around the globe.


MOHAMMAD AND THE MATCHMAKER

BBC TWO: 2200 BST (UK) WEDNESDAY, 16 JUNE, 2004
Mohammad

Iranian Mohammad is 47, single and looking for love in Iran.

He is also a former heroin addict and HIV positive.

In a country with the highest proportion of drug-users anywhere in the world but one where discussion of drugs and Aids is also taboo, Mohammad's search for happiness looks doomed, until his doctor sets out to find him a HIV positive bride.

Producer/Director: Maziar Bahari


DJ RAY'S BIG DAY

BBC TWO: 2200 BST (UK) WEDNESDAY, 19 MAY, 2004
Ray and Natalia

New York DJ Ray and Russian beautician Natalia found love on the internet, via one of the many websites offering introductions to thousands of foreign wannabe brides.

After corresponding and spending just one week together in Europe, the film follows them as they plan their wedding day and married life in the US.

But they are just one of countless couples tying the knot after meeting on largely unregulated websites as Congress is set to debate a Bill to try and control the market in so-called mail-order or "cyber brides".

Producer/Director: Lara Agnew


LOVE CONVERTS

BBC TWO: 2200 BST (UK) WEDNESDAY, 26 MAY, 2004
Ujjala (left) and Asad (right)

Desperately in love, Ujjala and Asad have been meeting in secret for nine years. But they are determined to marry, despite the fact she is Hindu and he Muslim.

Both their families are entirely opposed to their relationship; Ujjala has been virtually imprisoned in her home, made to marry another Hindu man and ostracised by friends.

As the couple prepare to finally wed, the film explores the impact of this taboo coupling and shows how the families are slowly pulled apart as romantic love battles with hundreds of years of suspicion and prejudice that still underpin 21st Century India.

Producer/Director: Ashok Prasad


GYPSY CHILD BRIDES

BBC TWO: 2200 BST (UK) WEDNESDAY, 2 JUNE, 2004
Regina

Fourteen-year-old Regina has just married according to traditional Romany custom; she was sold by her Romanian father for $3,000.

The film follows the ancient customs of Romania's gypsy clans, which are coming under increasing fire from the European Union as amounting to little more than child abuse.

But having endured years of persecution since arriving from India 1,000 years ago, the gypsies will not give up their traditions lightly, as the latest round of criticism seems no different to the prejudice they have experienced before.

Producer/Cameraman: Liviu Tipurita
Director: Callum Macrae


GAY ON THE CAPE

BBC TWO: 2200 BST (UK) WEDNESDAY, 9 JUNE, 2004
Mark (left) and Cengey (right)

Mark and Cengey, a gay couple from Cape Town, have escaped from the "coloured" ghettoes where they were born. They have overcome poverty, violence and the objections of their parents and neighbours to get to their wedding day.

But while all forms of discrimination in post-apartheid South Africa may have banned, gay marriages are still not recognised and Mark and Cengey's ceremony is no exception.

As the issue of gay marriages polarises opinion around the world, the programme reveals South Africa's continuing struggle for gay equality.

Producer/Director: Clifford Bestall


Series Producer: Sam Bagnall
Executive Producer: Karen O'Connor



SEE ALSO:
'Cyber brides' vulnerable to abuse?
18 May 04 |  This World
India: Modern love versus old taboo
25 May 04 |  This World
Gypsy child brides
30 May 04 |  This World
True colours of the Rainbow Nation?
09 Jun 04 |  This World
Tackling Iran's heroin habit
16 Jun 04 |  This World


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