Amina in Afghanistan, Sokha in Cambodia, Wadley in Haiti, Yasmin in Egypt: These four, and five more equally remarkable girls tell stories heartrending and powerful in Girl Rising a revolutionary film from Academy Award-nominated Director Richard Robbins. Although voiced by an incredible group of actresses (Meryl Streep, Cate Blanchet, Anne Hathaway, Selena Gomez) with original music from Academy Award winner Rachel Portman and Grammy Award winner Lorne Balfe, the girls themselves are the stars.
But Robbins came to Erin Sarofsky with a challenge: Giving face and force to the message that education changes everything for girls in the developing world, Robbin’s wanted to present each girl’s story as a chapter in the film. But he needed a beautiful opening and transitions to stitch the stories together. He also needed to find a way to present facts and numbers that add meaning and context to the film, without disrupting its flow. She was thrilled that Robbins came to us for creative solutions.
After lengthy discussions and numerous script revisions, Erin developed a series of scenarios that met every objective. For the opening, a group of girls draw, laugh and interact in a sundrenched prairie, as the animation of a beautiful school sprouts up from the earth behind them. For the interstitials, the girls present important statistical information in additional playful, and filmic ways. An illustrated canvas with openings for their faces stretches out to show the roles girls in undeveloped countries have to fill at a very young age. The girls pass oversized books that open to reveal shocking numbers, and posterboards with more jolting facts.
Giving depth and resonance to all of this, Liam Neeson’s voiceover was the finishing touch. Weaving the stories together with the small army of girls Erin directed to visually articulate the scripts.
Please visit girlrising.org to learn more about the ongoing projects and programs that continue to give voice and opportunity to so many girls around the world. You can also follow them here instagram.com/girlrising/
Erin and everyone at Sarofsky is so proud to be have been part of a project that delivers a simple, critical truth: Educate Girls and You Change the World.