CHIME FOR CHANGE, the global campaign for girls’ and women’s empowerment founded by Gucci, has announced the launch of its storytelling platform, designed to shine a light on stories celebrating and spotlighting courageous girls and women around the world.

Through a combination of short films and journalistic content, the powerful stories are centered on the individuals who live them, and aim to inspire conversation and community participation by raising awareness among a global audience.

To mark the launch of the storytelling platform, CHIME FOR CHANGE, led by a founding committee comprised of Gucci Creative Director Frida Giannini, Salma Hayek Pinault and Beyonce Knowles-Carter, has released five original short films, told through the lens of creative filmmakers who have been inspired to share previously untold compelling stories with the world. The films first premiered earlier this month during THE SOUND OF CHANGE LIVE concert event on June 1, which gathered together some of the world’s most talented artists and renowned activists to raise funds and awareness for girls’ and women’s empowerment. The films are available to view and download through the CHIME FOR CHANGE homepage and

“We will shine a spotlight on those who are fighting for education, health and justice for girls and women by sharing stories about real people who are speaking out and rising up to change the course of history,” said Salma Hayek Pinault, Executive Producer of the CHIME FOR CHANGE film unit. “These films tell intimate, personal stories – but these stories represent universal themes. And now we can all play a part by turning inspiration into action.”

In addition, Mariane Pearl, Managing Editor of CHIME FOR CHANGE, has assembled a team of international journalists who will document the pivotal time in history we are currently experiencing as girls and women courageously stand up to demand that their voices and stories are heard. Ms. Pearl will work with independent journalists from all over the world and with the support of content partners including the International Herald Tribune and the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

Ms. Pearl said: “Journalism is about holding those in power accountable and giving a voice to the voiceless. We will do both, denouncing the violence and discrimination women are facing because of their gender and giving a voice to those who may have never spoken out until now.”

Ms. Pearl added: “One by one these individuals’ stories demonstrate that women everywhere are ready to stand up for themselves and for one another, ready to live to their full potential.”

The journalism platform will serve as an inspiration for women and girls everywhere to connect and learn each others’ stories, using the power of narrative and storytelling to create a global network, and support those working individually to transform their environments.

The five short films released this week illustrate some of the many critical issues faced by girls and women around the world, and focus on real life stories connected to the three pillars of CHIME FOR CHANGE: Education, Health and Justice. The films include:
SEPIDEH: LETTERS TO EINSTEIN directed by Berit Madsen, the story of Sepideh, a young Iranian astronomer who dreams of becoming an astronaut. The film tells the story of a young woman who dares to pursue her dream despite the many societal pressures and familial obligations that threaten to block her path.
REACHING FOR THE SUN by Jehane Noujaim, which follows the journey of 30 grandmothers chosen from remote corners of the globe who are trained as solar engineers, enabling them to return home and solar power their own villages.
• Dan Reed’s #SHOUTINGBACK, which tells the story of Laura Bates, a UK journalist and activist who uses social media to highlight the issue of sexual harassment and objectification of women.
DYNAMIQUE DES FEMMES JURISTES by Hi-Sim Studios, an animated film about a group of female lawyers in eastern Congo fighting for women’s rights.
• JESSICA’S STORY by Libby Spears profiles Jessica as she shares her story of being sex trafficked as a child. Artist Lydiaemily Archibald paints a large mural in Los Angeles’s infamous Skid Row to capture Jessica’s spirit and resilience.

In addition, a special version of Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy’s HUMAIRA: THE DREAM CATCHER with a voiceover from Madonna has been released this week by CHIME FOR CHANGE. All of the new films on the storytelling platform join the extended trailer of THE SUPREME PRICE by Joanna Lipper, the first short film to be released by CHIME FOR CHANGE to coincide with the launch of the campaign in February.

The launch of the CHIME FOR CHANGE storytelling platform follows The SOUND OF CHANGE LIVE held at Twickenham Stadium on 1st June. The concert event was headlined by CHIME FOR CHANGE co-founder Beyonce, along with an incredible line-up of all-star performers and presenters who brought girls’ and women’s empowerment to the world’s stage.

Immediately prior to THE SOUND OF CHANGE LIVE concert event, Ms. Pearl hosted a five-day ‘Reporting Women’ journalism summit, in partnership with the Thomson Reuters Foundation. The course explored topics ranging from the safety of female journalists, to female stereotypes and narratives in the media. Participating journalists were recruited from all parts of the world, and will have their work featured as a part of the storytelling platform on the CHIME FOR CHANGE website.

The funds raised through the CHIME FOR CHANGE campaign will be donated to projects presented by more than 80 non-profit organizations in over 70 countries through CHIME FOR CHANGE partner Catapult, the first crowdfunding platform solely dedicated to advancing the lives of girls and women.

Many of the CHIME FOR CHANGE short films are represented by an associated project on Catapult, so that viewers can become personally engaged in the individual stories of the girls and women in the films. These include: helping Humaira Bachal build her Dream Model Street School on the outskirts of Karachi; supporting Laura Bates’s Everyday Sexism project; helping survivors of human trafficking, with stories like Jessica’s, through organizations such as the Nest Foundation; and training the next generation of women leaders through the Kudirat Initiative for Democracy (KIND) in Nigeria as illustrated through Hafsat Abiola’s story in THE SUPREME PRICE.

The feature length films of SEPIDEH: LETTERS TO EINSTEIN, REACHING FOR THE SUN and THE SUPREME PRICE are past recipients of the Spotlighting Women Documentary Award, presented by the Gucci Tribeca Documentary Fund in partnership with the Kering Foundation and administered by Tribeca Film Institute.

CHIME FOR CHANGE comes at a historic and pivotal moment for girls and women globally, as the world’s attention is drawn to international stories ranging from the fight for girls’ education in Pakistan to headlines of violence against women in all corners of the world. The campaign brings together a coalition of organizations and individuals to effect meaningful change for girls and women worldwide. The campaign’s strategic partners include the Kering Foundation, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Facebook, Hearst Magazines and Catapult.

The Advisory Board of CHIME FOR CHANGE includes Hafsat Abiola, Muna AbuSulayman, Valerie Amos, Jimmie Briggs, Gordon and Sarah Brown, Lydia Cacho, David Carey, Joanne Crewes, Minh Dang, Juliet de Baubigny, Waris Dirie, Helene Gayle, Yasmeen Hassan, Arianna Huffington, Musimbi Kanyoro, Alicia Keys, Yang Lan, John Legend, Madonna, Pat Mitchell, Alyse Nelson, Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy, Francois-Henri Pinault, Julia Roberts, Jill Sheffield, Alison Smale, Jada Pinkett Smith, Caryl Stern, Meryl Streep, the Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Mpho Tutu, and Monique Villa.

Source: PR Newswire

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