Netflix is releasing a new animated short film from two-time Academy Award winning and three-time Emmy Award winning director Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy. Titled Sitara: Let Girls Dream, the moving story centers on a 14-year-old girl named Pari who dreams of being a pilot, while growing up in a society that doesn’t allow her to dream.
Director Obaid-Chinoy, who calls the film a movement to motivate girls and women to dream was quoted saying, “Young girls everywhere still face considerable hurdles in achieving their dreams. Sitara embodies that struggle; it is the story of Pari, a young girl who dreams of becoming a pilot and is robbed of it. The film encourages parents to invest in their girls’ dreams, freeing their daughters from the burdens of early marriage”. Obaid-Chinoy is known for her work in films that highlight women’s experiences of inequality. She is the only female director to have won two Academy Awards by the age of 37, and her work has been screened around the world. Saving Face, which chronicles the lives of survivors of acid violence, won the 2012 Oscar for Best Documentary Short, marking Pakistan’s first Academy Award. A Girl in the River: The Price for Forgiveness about honour killings in Pakistan won the 2015 Oscar for Best Documentary Short.
VICE Studios financed and produced the film with Imke Fehrmann serving as producer. Women’s rights activist Gloria Steinem and Darla Anderson, the Academy Award-winning producer of Coco and Toy Story 3, VICE Media Group CEO Nancy Dubuc, and Emmy-nominated Ariel Wengroff serve as executive producers along with Obaid-Chinoy’s animation production company Waadi Animation. Four-time Emmy winner and Grammy Award winner Laura Karpman is the short film’s composer. Wengroff was quoted saying, “Twelve million girls every year are forced into child marriage, losing their ability to dream. We hope this 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”.
GUCCI’s social impact initiative Chime for Change, Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy, and Ariel Wengroff will also create an impact campaign for the film around the theme ‘Let Girls Dream’, through which they hope to encourage girls around the world to share their dreams and gain inspiration from one another.