With a focus on global women's issues, including maternal health, microfinance initiatives, child marriage, sex trafficking and poverty alleviation, the Harvard College Social Innovation Collaborative (SIC) and Connecther call on young artists from high schools and universities around the world to take part in this year's Girls Impact the World Film Festival (GITW).
GITW is a film festival and scholarship programme in which high school and undergraduate college students submit three to five minute-short films that focus on a variety of global women’s issues. Applications began last October and are open until 13 January.
Participating short films must help raise awareness about current issues affecting women and girls around the world and preferably propose solutions to those current challenges, including marginalisation of women, domestic violence, health care, sex trafficking, and teen and child marriage, to name a few.
"Our goal is to tell stories about girls and women that raise awareness, envision in film the possibilities of our time for females globally, and propose solutions, all the while providing the young adult voice an outlet in a compelling medium," says the GITW official statement.
Among the participating films in the Violence and Child Marriage category is Because I Am A Girl by Azmina Karim a young Muslim woman from Bangladesh. Karim captures the nature of patriarchal societies where "women are always subject to violence, and violence is used to control them and silence them."
The documentary shows how domestic violence is either resolved within the family or kept unresolved to ‘protect’ the relationship. According to the director herself, "In our society, it is taken for granted that women are subject to violence and they are expected to endure it with patience, and be mothers.
"Therefore, these families and women remain silent and keep enduring the torture by their husband every day. This is the time that we speak up about this violence even when it is done by our family member or a loved one," she declares.
Winners will receive a monetary prize, film distribution channels via SIC, Connecther and Creative Visions networks, as well as an internship opportunity at Creative Visions in Los Angeles. An official screening and red carpet event will take place at the Harvard University campus in Cambridge, MA on 23 February 2013.