(WOMENSENEWS)–What girls see through the lens of video camera is enough to change the world. That’s the focus of Girls Impact the World Film Festival, a three-year-old competition produced by the crowdfunding website Connecther to celebrate young people who are changing the world with media.
This year’s screening of winners was held in New York in September, and subject matter by the international group of filmmakers ranged from beauty in the media, agriculture, sex slavery and Afghan girl rappers.
The deadline for 2015 entries is Dec. 31, 2014. Full details can be found here, along with the range of eligible topics, which include political participation, teen and child marriage and ending female genital mutilation.
This year’s event also launched the organization’s partnership with the Paley Center, where the screening was held, for the Girls Impact the World Classroom Series, a serious-issues discussion guide for high school seniors and college students.
In her film “Variegated,” teen filmmaker Annalise Lamberty focused on the media’s lack of multicultural representatives. “I lived in Egypt and I saw myself as this pretty little girl,” a teen said in the film. “When I came here no one was considered beautiful except for American girls.”
“I think it is so important to have every girl tell her story because taking that first step leads to global change,” Pakistani filmmaker Sarah Khan told Teen Voices in a pre-screening interview.
The filmmakers often disrupt social conventions and values that normalize harmful or disturbing realities.
“Storytellers are brave,” said Ara Parikh, co-director of the festival, which was produced by Connecther, a fundraising platform for nonprofits that benefit girls and women.