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BRAVE GIRLS

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In one of the oldest towns in India, a group of young women are rewriting tradition. The day before her final exam, Apsana runs from her arranged marriage so that she can continue going to school. Samira wants to marry for love, but chooses to listen to her parents. Two months later, her friend Karishma disappears with her childhood sweetheart. Brave Girls follows their journey for self determination and love.

Background

Ellie Walton arrived in Gujarat on a Fulbright fellowship to lead a digital storytelling residency with teenage girls exploring their courage to go back to school. In collaboration with Gujarati artist, Yashaswi Desai, they facilitated 3 months of workshops in photography, writing, and editing, culminating in the creation of a digital letter to inspire other girls to believe in their dreams. These letters were selected to the Women at Work Film Festival in Ahmedabad, where the girls shared the stage with Bollywood film directors and nationally acclaimed feminist artists. Two van loads from their small town came out to watch the premiere of their short film: 

 

 

One week after the screening of their digital letter, co-director, Yashaswi Desai, received a phone call from one of the girls, sharing that she was considering running from her arranged marriage so that she could pursue her dream to finish school and get a job.  Although we had already begun filming their journey back to school, at this point, we realized there was a deeper story unfolding.

FILMMAKERS

 
  DEBORAH WALLACE, Executive Producer:   Deborah is an Emmy-nominated Producer, Director, Writer & Performer. She has worked on the Emmy winning documentary, GASLAND & produced GASLAND, Part II & received an Emmy nomination. She completed BLOOD ON THE MOUNTAIN which will released by Virgil Films & Netflix. 

DEBORAH WALLACE, Executive Producer:

Deborah is an Emmy-nominated Producer, Director, Writer & Performer. She has worked on the Emmy winning documentary, GASLAND & produced GASLAND, Part II & received an Emmy nomination. She completed BLOOD ON THE MOUNTAIN which will released by Virgil Films & Netflix. 

  ELLIE WALTON,   Director / DP:   Ellie is an award-winning filmmaker and educator, committed to sharing personal stories that reveal and inspire. She is the recipient of the DC Mayor's Arts Award and is a frequent collaborator with the DC based production company, Meridian Hill Pictures.

ELLIE WALTON, Director / DP:

Ellie is an award-winning filmmaker and educator, committed to sharing personal stories that reveal and inspire. She is the recipient of the DC Mayor's Arts Award and is a frequent collaborator with the DC based production company, Meridian Hill Pictures.

  YASHASWI DESAI,   Director:    Yashaswi is a facilitator, visual artist, and holistic healer. Born and raised in Gujarat, she has an open heart to learn from each small moment and feels passionate about sharing stories that inspire reflection.

YASHASWI DESAI, Director: 

Yashaswi is a facilitator, visual artist, and holistic healer. Born and raised in Gujarat, she has an open heart to learn from each small moment and feels passionate about sharing stories that inspire reflection.

  TANISHA CHRISTIE,   Producer  :    Tanisha is an interdisciplinary performer, multi-platform producer, filmmaker and educator who loves collaborative art making and engaging an audience directly in performance. She is a 2016/2017 Brooklyn Arts Exchange Artist in Residence developing a new performance installation, called bathtub.

TANISHA CHRISTIE, Producer

Tanisha is an interdisciplinary performer, multi-platform producer, filmmaker and educator who loves collaborative art making and engaging an audience directly in performance. She is a 2016/2017 Brooklyn Arts Exchange Artist in Residence developing a new performance installation, called bathtub.

  MAGEE McILVAINE,   Editor  :    Magee received much of his film training under the mentorship of award winning Director Scott Willis, including the opportunity to work on the critically acclaimed documentary  The Woodmans .  Since then, he has worked on several feature documentaries with topics ranging from campaign finance reform to youth development.

MAGEE McILVAINE, Editor

Magee received much of his film training under the mentorship of award winning Director Scott Willis, including the opportunity to work on the critically acclaimed documentary The Woodmans.  Since then, he has worked on several feature documentaries with topics ranging from campaign finance reform to youth development.

  SONALI UDAYBABU,   Camera  :    Sonali is a queer feminist activist, filmmaker, and magazine editor. She has been involved in social justice and documentary filmmaking since her teens, and finds intrigue & meaning in stories that push boundaries in the ways that make up the world.

SONALI UDAYBABU, Camera

Sonali is a queer feminist activist, filmmaker, and magazine editor. She has been involved in social justice and documentary filmmaking since her teens, and finds intrigue & meaning in stories that push boundaries in the ways that make up the world.

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We are currently raising funds to go back to India to film a follow up with the young women, and post-production costs (editing, sound mastering, etc.) for broadcast distribution opportunities. We are also developing an outreach campaign, so that the film can be used as a tool to open conversations with young women and their families across India about what it means for girls to make healthy choices for themselves.

The project is fiscally sponsored by Sustainable Markets Foundation a 501 (c) 3 not-for-profit organization. All donations are tax-deductible. Checks can be sent to:

Sustainable Markets Foundation

45 West 36th Street, 6th Floor

New York, NY 10018

Checks should be made out to "Sustainable Markets Foundation: Purpose: Brave Girls