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Freida Pinto brings 'Girl Rising' to India

Directed by Academy Award-nominated director Richard E Robbins, the documentary tells the stories of nine girls from different parts of the world who face arranged marriages, child slavery, and sexual abuse.

Freida Pinto

Despite these obstacles, the girls break barriers and create change by getting an education. Besides Freida, Hollywood A-listers like Meryl Streep, Anne Hathaway, Liam Neeson, Cate Blanchette, Selena Gomez and Bollywood actress Priyanka Chopra have lent their voice to the film. 

"I am happy to bring this film to India. The timing couldn't be more perfect because there has been wide awareness in the last couple of months, maybe years. There are people who are raising more questions, who are protesting, debating also probably putting more pressure on policy change," said Freida, who was in the capital for the screening of the film.

"I keep getting asked this question - Why education? Why did I choose to support education and the answer to that is quite simple because I had one. I am standing here today because I had the education I wanted and I cannot thank my mom and dad enough for that," she added.

The movie features original music from Academy Award winner Rachel Portman in collaboration with Hans Zimmer. Freida says what appealed to her the most about the movie is that none of the girls are projected as victims but survivors.

"What I most like about this film is that none of the girls feel like or appeal to you like victims they are all survivors. We need to understand that investing in girl education delivers highest return in investment even in the developing worlds," she added.

Robbins made the film in partnership with 1010 and Intel. "The reason we made this film was because of a question I was asking myself when my own daughter was born - that what kind of world will we leave for our children?

And at a certain point it is no longer enough to ask yourself what it is you believe about this world but what would you do," he said.

The film spotlights girls like Sokha, an orphan who rises from the dumps of Cambodia to become a star student and an accomplished dancer; Suma, who composes music to help her endure forced servitude in Nepal and today crusades to free others; and Ruksana, an Indian pavement-dweller whose father sacrifices his own basic needs for his daughter's dreams.  

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