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U.S. Theatrical Release Date Set For October

It’s official. DIFRET will be opening in U.S. theaters on October 23. Stay tuned for theater postings and the new trailer.

We can’t wait to share the film with all of our U.S. supporters.

Read announcement.

CNN’s Amanpour: Traditional law in the spotlight in new Ethiopian film

As President Obama, in Ethiopia, decries outdated traditions like child marriage, Christiane Amanpour speaks with the producer, and subject, of the new film Difret.

 

 

Girls Up Leadership Summit

Girl Up Leadership Summit

 

The Girl Up Leadership Summit was a three day event hosted by Girl Up, the United Nations Foundation’s adolescent girl campaign. The theme of the summit this year was “Stand Up. Speak Up. Rise Up.” The leadership summit was a chance for girls to developing their advocacy skills by building their confidence, learning the skills to make their voices heard, and finally taking their message to Capitol Hill. We were thrilled to participate in the summit where we met young women from across the country determined to help make the world a better place for women and girls. Thank you to the UN Foundation for inviting us to the event and including our film in the program.

 

Culture of Courage: Meaza Ashenafi

The word DIFRET means courage in the Amharic language. We believe transforming the gender norms that affect the lives of women and girls around the world requires building a culture of courage that helps support them. That’s why we have started a Culture of Courage series featuring the child marriage survivors, activists and change makers that have been courageously advocating to protect and promote women and girls in their communities.  Our next heroine in this series is one of the women who inspired our film, Meaza Ashenafi from Ethiopia.

Culture of Courage- Meaza (1)

RYOT: Why this movie scene will make you call the President right now

Difret Clip from Zeresenay Berhane Mehari on Vimeo.

For most people, today is nothing but another day. But for the thousands of child brides around the world, today could be a major victory.

On June 1, Congress passed the Girls Count Act of 2015 (S. 802), clearing the legislation for President Obama’s signature ”” an important next step in our fight to end child marriage internationally.

This bill will support international programs that improve the birth registration of girls, ensuring birth certificates and other official documentation for children. Lack of documentation leaves children without access to legal protection and other essential services, which increases their vulnerability and places them at greater risk for exploitation and violence.

For example, while forced and early marriage is illegal in many countries, it’s difficult to enforce when the age of the bride is unknown or can be altered to arrange a marriage. Thus, registering births will also directly reduce the number of child marriages that take place every day.

Nobody knows the importance of this act more than Aberash Bekele and Meaza Ashenafi.

Difret, a film written and directed by Zeresenay Berhane Mehari and executive produced by Angelina Jolie, is based on the true story of the two Ethiopian women, Aberash Bekele (called Hirut in the film) and Meaza Ashenafi, the founder of the Ethiopian Women Lawyers Association (EWLA).

Read full article.

 

Culture of Courage: Aberash Bekele

The word DIFRET means courage in the Amharic language. We believe transforming the gender norms that affect the lives of women and girls around the world requires building a culture of courage that helps support them. That’s why we have started a Culture of Courage series featuring the child marriage survivors, activists and change makers that have been courageously advocating to protect and promote women and girls in their communities.  Our next heroine in this series is one of the women who inspired our film, Aberash Bekele from Ethiopia. Aberash is currently leading a campaign to help gain support to end child marriage. To read more about her activism check out the article in Ms. Magazine.

Aberash

Culture of Courage: Ezinne Akudo Anyaoha

The word DIFRET means courage in the Amharic language. We believe transforming the gender norms that affect the lives of women and girls around the world requires building a culture of courage that helps support them. That’s why we have started a Culture of Courage series featuring the child marriage survivors, activists and change makers that have been courageously advocating to protect and promote women and girls in their communities.  Our second heroine in this series is Ezinne Akudo Anyaoha from Nigeria.

Ezinne Akudo Anyaoha

Difret Screening with Sundance Film Forward

Difret is screening in Minneapolis, MN this week as part of the Sundance Film Forward program.

The Sundance Film Forward program is a partnership between the Sundance Institute, the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities, the Institute of Museum and Library Services, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the National Endowment for the Humanities. Every year Film Forward selects 6-8 films out of a pool of about 150 films to screen in a touring program designed for students and artists that offers film screenings and discussions to excite and cultivate new audiences for independent film. It uses the power of cinema to promote broader cultural understanding, inspire curiosity and enhance awareness of shared stories and values across generations, religion, ethnicity and borders.

Read press release.

Culture of Courage: Roshni Bairwu

The word DIFRET means courage in the Amharic language. We believe transforming the gender norms that affect the lives of women and girls around the world requires building a culture of courage that helps support them. That’s why we have started a Culture of Courage series featuring the child marriage survivors, activists and change makers that have been courageously advocating to protect and promote women and girls in their communities.  Our first heroine in this series is Roshni Bairwu from India.

 

Roshni

Aberash Bekele’s Advocacy Begins

We are working with Aberash Bekele to help use our film as a tool for change and have a great working relationship with her. During her visit last month, she asked us to publish periodic blog posts from her that will allow her to have have a direct dialogue with the audience of Difret. We will post these blogs periodically on our website as she sends us content. The first in this series addresses Aberash’s thoughts about the film:

“The way I see it, the production of the film has many advantages. It exposes the reality in many parts of the country that far too few people even know about which means it can be used to help address the violence that so many women and girls in Ethiopia experience. That is why I am working closely with the filmmakers to help use this film as a vehicle for social change. I have a good working relationship with the filmmakers. We have agreed to work together to educate people about the issue of abduction and violence against women in Ethiopia. We need to support those who are victims of abduction and other forms of violence and I think this film can help do that. I believe that the production of the film will contribute to the education of millions of Ethiopians and will help minimize abduction as well as garner support for girls education. It will also help encourage the government, NGOs and the society to intensify their work on violence against girls and women as well as support female education.”  –Aberash Bekele

Please look out for future blog posts from Aberash. If you have a question you would like to ask Aberash, please send it to difret@truthaid.org.

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