Have you heard about Girl Rising? If not, let me introduce you to an engaging and emotional movie that will teach you a lot about girls' education. The project began when a team of veteran journalists decided to investigate one question: how do you end global poverty? Girls' education always came up, no matter whom they asked, and they knew there was a story to tell. But while data show when you educate a girl you can change a community, they struggled with how to get people to recognize and act on the opportunity. So they created 10x10, a social action campaign dedicated to getting the word out, and the film Girl Rising. Today, in honor of the UN's International Day of the Girl, people are organizing screenings of the film in their communities. In more than 150 countries, Girl Rising supporters are hosting more than 2,000 events. Let's take a look at how your new favorite film got made.
A Movie Like No Other
With the help of Oscar-nominated director Richard Robbins, corporate sponsor Intel, and a handful of NGOs on the ground, Girl Rising became a movie like no other. It's not a documentary, nor fiction, but a powerful piece of storytelling. Girl Rising follows nine real girls from different developing countries who each has overcome common barriers to education, including sex trafficking, child slavery, or early marriage. The filmmakers asked award-winning writers to each create a vignette about the girl from her own country. Those stories were then used as the screenplay and narrated by famous actresses. And in the film, each girl, not a professional, acts out her own story.
Help From Famous Women
According to Holly Gordon, the film's executive director and executive producer, Girl Rising was first imagined as a classic documentary. But when the original footage only captured the dark and depressing side of poverty, they decided to get creative to convey a hopeful message. After selecting award-winning writers, they next looked for the actresses to lend their voices to the project. "We asked actresses who had already given themselves to the rights of women and girls," Holly told me. The first person they asked? Meryl Streep. "I got the phone call in July, when I was on a Bolt Bus from New York to Washington, that Meryl Streep had said yes, and I shrieked with glee," Holly recalled. "When you have Meryl Streep on board, others know that's a stamp of approval for your project." Anne Hathaway, Kerry Washington, Alicia Keys, Selena Gomez, and more soon jumped on.