Posted Online: April 18, 2013, 1:29 pm

"Girl Rising" reveals the global power of education

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By Jonathan Turner,

A scene at an Indian school in the new documentary "Girl Rising."

The new 104-minute documentary "Girl Rising" -- which opens this weekend at Regal Cinemas in Moline -- shows how education raised nine girls around the world out of poverty and cruel circumstances.

The young women's stories, narrated by stars like Meryl Streep, Cate Blanchett and Anne Hathaway, stand as "sober reminders of the kind of unforgiving obstacles faced by girls in developing countries and the positive, ripple effects that learning can bring," according to a Los Angeles Times review.

Other narrators includeSelena Gomez, Salma Hayek, Alicia Keys, Chloë Moretz, Liam Neeson, Frieda Pinto, Kerry Washington, and the film is the centerpiece of 10x10 – a global campaign to educate and empower girls.

Produced by award-winning former ABC News journalists of The Documentary Group and Paul G. Allen's Vulcan Productions, "Girl Rising" is powered by founding partner Intel Corporation, and global television distribution partner, CNN Films.

"Girl Rising is about the formative impact education can have on a girl's life," director Richard E. Robbins said in a news release. "Girl Rising's nine stories represent millions of girls who deserve to go to school, but can't. Thanks to the remarkable organizing efforts of people around the country, Girl Rising will be seen by thousands around the nation who've demanded a screening. This is a new model for impact filmmaking, and one we hope can help us get girls into school."

Each girl's story in the film was written by a renowned writer from her native country:

"Intel's extensive global education work has found a great marriage with 10x10 and its global social action campaign to educate and empower girls," said Shelly Esque, vice president of Intel's Corporate Affairs Group and president of the Intel Foundation.

"We leveraged our relationships and resources beyond simply funding with the hope that our strengths, along with a non-profit, the creative industry and NGOs, can together catalyze change and raise awareness to educate girls."

"Filmmakers often use movies to raise awareness about causes and issues, but our goal is to go a step beyond that and help the audience take action once they leave the theater," said Paul G. Allen, founder of Vulcan Productions. "We believe in making films that make a difference, and we're eager to see girls' education gain momentum as a result of 'Girl Rising.'"

"This is an exciting moment for 10x10, which has built a movement around educating girls," said 10x10 executive director Holly Gordon. "The movement has matured, and as a result, we've been able to crowdsource Girl Rising into hundreds of movie theaters across the nation. I urge people to continue to request screenings, and turn awareness into action by supporting the 10x10 Fund for Girls Education."

The 10x10 Fund for Girls Education goes to 10x10's high-impact network of non-profit partners and leaders in girls' education: A New Day Cambodia, CARE, Girl Up/United Nations Foundation, Partners in Health, Plan International USA, Room to Read and World Vision.

"Girl Rising" will be seen around the world when it premieres on CNN in June. For more information, visit