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Richard E. Robbins' on Finding the Girls for his Documentary 'Girl Rising'

Richard E. Robbins' Sundance documentary Girl Rising tells the stories of 9 young girls from 9 different impoverished countries. Each girl was paired with a writer from their country to relay their stories in a unique and artistic way and the film features narration from the likes of Meryl Streep, Anne Hathaway, Liam Neeson and more.

Explains Robbins, "One of the things that we really focused on in the film is not telling a bunch of depressing stories about miserable places. That was really not the film I wanted to make, and I think the film we ended up with is a film about a bunch of inspiring girls. When you focus on the girls themselves, not their circumstances and troubles but on their characters, the story goes from seeming bleak and depressing to full of hope and joy. They’re just amazing kids, they don’t’ feel sorry for themselves, they don’t see their circumstances as horrific, there is none of that sense of pity or tragedy where they see themselves as victims. It’s one of the reasons I ended up wanting to make the film a hybrid of documentary and fiction, because I think traditionally when documentarians travel to the developing world, you end up with a focus on what’s different about her life from what’s familiar to us. What I wanted to focus on is how much these girls are like our girls, how, ultimately, they’re not that different from my own daughter."

Read more with him here on The Credits.