Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy, the two-time Academy award winning Pakistani filmmaker, released an animated short film Sitara: Let Girl’s Dream in September. The film is based upon a 14 year old girl named Pari, who’s dreaming to be a pilot in a society that doesn’t focus on dreams of girls. The film was largely appraised and now it’s finally confirmed that the film will be released on Netflix.
Obaid-Chinoy have not only directed the film, but also wrote the story of a young girl being burdened with the social pressure and norms. The film is situated in Lahore and revolves around the topic of child marriage. Pari, an ambitious little girl aims to be a pilot but fails to do so because she belongs to a society where girls are still facing trouble in order to achieve their dreams. Without any dialogues, film is narrated through Mehr’s perspective, Pari’s younger sister.
On being asked about the film, Obaid-Chinoy said, “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. For me, Sitara is 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.”
Having known to highlight issues faced by women in Pakistan, Obaid-Chinoy is the first female to have won three Emmy’s and two academy awards for her documentaries Saving Face and A Girl in the River: The Price for Forgiveness. Both were featured on HBO and have been appraised by a large number of audience.
The film has been financed and produced by Vice Studios in collaboration with Sharmeen’s animation production company, Waadi Animation. Imke Fehrmann is the producer for the film. Executive producers are Darla Anderson, Ariel Wengroff and Gloria Steinem, who all serve as women rights activists. From Waadi Animation, Adnan Saeed is the CG supervisor, Salman Nasir is Art Director, Kamran Khan is animation director and Laura Karpman is the composer for shorts. It has also been supported by GUCCI’s social impact initiative Chime for Change, which through the film aims to encourage girls around the world to share their dreams and inspire each other.
Ariel Wengroff said, “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. We are thrilled to have Netflix as a partner to share this project with the world.”
In 2020, the film will be the first Pakistani Animated film to be released and distributed by Netflix USA and will be available in over 190 countries.