To celebrate International Day of the Girl 2014, Daya Trust and Youth for UN Women NZ brings you ‘I Am A Girl‘ by Australian filmmaker, Rebecca Barry. This feature length documentary tells the story of six girls coming of age, ready to become something extraordinary.

“Deeply inspirational and succinctly moving ….” – SBS Film

As a day on earth transpires from dawn to dusk and into the night, we meet Manu, Kimsey, Aziza, Habiba, Breani and Katie – each on the brink of womanhood and dealing with the realities of what it means to grow up female in their world today. As they come of age in the way their culture dictates, we see remarkable heart-warming stories of resilience, bravery and humour.

‘I Am A Girl’ is a feature length documentary that paints a picture of the reality of what it means to be a girl in the 21st century. Feminism may have promised equality and sought a better and fairer world for women, but the reality is that girls make up almost a quarter of the world’s population, yet still face the greatest discrimination of any group on the planet. Technology and science offer unimaginable potential but we still struggle to ensure men and women are afforded equal opportunities. In spite of these obstacles, girls have found extraordinary ways to persevere and in our documentary we hear their stories of strength, hope, courage and a refusal to be second best.

Stylistically the documentary is poetic and observational, capturing the day-to-day realities of being a girl. The interwoven narratives use the motifs of landscapes and  “coming of age” events, whether that is graduating from school, motherhood or an early marriage.

“There are moments and images in the film that will stay with you for a long time.” – Popcorn Taxi

Our journey takes the audience through a pastiche of diverse cultures and societies around the globe including Cambodia, Papua New Guinea, Cameroon, Afghanistan, USA and Australia.

I Am A Girl crew

Filmmaker Rebecca Barry says “I Am A Girl’ has been inspired by my travels around the planet. I love exploring the complexity, history, creativity of the places I visit and I have an endless curiosity about the resilience of people and culture – particularly their women and girls.”

“The cold hard reality is that if you are born a girl in this world today, in every measurable way you will be at a disadvantage. Today we live in a world that openly discriminates against girls. On this basis alone, the most incomprehensible violence, health issues and abuse transpires.”

Rebecca says her vision for I Am A Girl‘ is simple – to weave a universal story through the voices of girls in various locations around the world, dealing with different challenges. Whether it is a story of abuse, neglect, optimism or hope, each story follows the daily toil from sunrise to sunset. Aziza, Kimsey, Breani, Katie, Manu and Habiba are strength and resilience personified. They are smart and funny but caught up in the predicament of birth and culture.

Rebecca says “A tribe made this film. We are part of the zeitgeist and the bigger movement around the world that is set to show the value of women and girls. It has been such an honor to be the captain of the ship and I can’t wait for what change is ahead.”

Check out the trailer

Check out the I Am A Girl trailer here: