Animated films are effective vehicles to put a spotlight on important issues, while online streaming platforms are great in sharing them to a wider audience. The latest to use both these avenues is the VICE Studios film Sitara: Let Girls Dream, which will soon stream on Netflix.
The streaming giant announced on Friday, Oct. 25 that it will release the animated short. VICE Studios financed and produced the film created by an all-female team.
Sitara: Let Girls Dream is directed by two-time Oscar winner and three-time Emmy winner Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy. It tells the story of Pari, a 14-year-old girl who aspires to be a pilot while growing up in a society that doesn’t allow her to dream, because she is expected to get married at an early age.
The limitless potential of Pari's dream is embodied in the paper planes she so lovingly makes and launches into the sky, and in her book on Amelia Earhart, which she reads at night. Her story is told through the perspective of her 6-year-old sister, who like the audience, is unaware of the traditions and barriers women in their family face.
“Young girls everywhere still face considerable hurdles in achieving their dreams,” Obaid-Chinoy said.
Sitara: Let Girls Dream embodies this struggle. “More than a film, it is a movement that we want to start across the world, that encourages parents to invest in their girls’ dreams, freeing their daughters from the burdens of early marriage,” she added.
Imke Fehrmann serves as a producer. Executive producers include VICE Media Group CEO Nancy Dubuc, women’s rights activist Gloria Steinem, Oscar winner Darla Anderson (Coco, Toy Story 3), Emmy nominee Ariel Wengroff, and Obaid-Chinoy’s animation production company Waadi Animation.
The score was composed by Grammy and Emmy award winner Laura Karpman.
“12 million girls every year are forced into child marriage, losing their ability to dream,” Wengroff said. She hopes the film “gives young people and their families the ability to spark a conversation for a different perspective on what we allow our children to aspire to be when they grow up.”
Together with GUCCI’s social impact initiative Chime for Change, Obaid-Chinoy and Wengroff plan to create an impact campaign for the film around the theme “Let Girls Dream,” which they hope will encourage girls around the world to hold meaningful conversations and gain inspiration from one another through a school outreach program.
“Thanks to the universal language of animation, Sitara will help girls everywhere to dream and to soar,” said Steinem.