Indian Women Rising, a cinema collective founded by Ekta Kapoor, Guneet Monga, Tahira Kashyap Khurrana and Ruchikaa Kapoor Sheikh is collaborating with ‘Educate Girls USA’, an NGO founded by Safeena Husain to raise funds for the two young leads from the Oscar-contending short film BITTU-Rani and Renu Kumari. The collaboration has witnessed the support of Global icon Priyanka Chopra Jonas gave a shout-out to the fundraiser event, standing in solidarity with the right to education for young girls.
BITTU explores the close friendship between two schoolgirls on a seemingly normal day at school. Set in against the backdrop of Himalayas, Bittu follows the story of an eight-year-old who must take matters into her own hands when her community fails to protect its most vulnerable. The film has garnered critical acclaim and recognition for its distinct cinematography and poignant storytelling, BITTU’s strength is also its unconventional casting. The central characters of the Bittu and Chand are played by first time performers, who were casted from the local community in Uttarakhand where the film was shot.
Priyanka Chopra Jonas shares, “Bittu is moving, raw and real. It takes a devasting incident and presents it from a unique perspective. As soon as I saw it, I knew I wanted to help give it the attention it deserves. It’s a great example of how women supporting women can make anything possible and the Indian Women Rising Collective is proof of that and I can’t wait to see what they do next. Cinema the world over needs more women to bring their voices, stories and perspectives to the fore and this is one step in that direction. This fundraiser will help these 2 amazing young girls, Rani & Renu Kumari continue their education and pursue all the dreams and ambitions they have for themselves and I hope that many will come forward to help make this a reality.”
Prajakta Koli shares, "It is my absolute pleasure that I get to be associated with a beautiful piece of art like Bittu at whatever capacity. I have so much love for Guneet, Tahira and Ekta for always telling stories that touch your heart in ways unknown. Also, getting shortlisted for the academy is a tremendous feat and I am so proud of how content is evolving in our country."
Indian Women Rising (IWR) in a joint statement shared, “BITTU is a special film and the two girls are its very soul. Performances of Rani and Renu in the film proved it that each child is gifted and just needs an opportunity to flourish. We are thrilled to collaborate with Educate Girls USA and raise funds to secure education and overall development of Rani and Renu. Education is the basic right of every child and it is our humble effort to bring a tangible change in the lives of these two talented girls.”
The fundraiser is scheduled on March 5, 2021 and will be moderated by digital sensation Prajakta Koli, who was seen in the recently released web show “Mismatched”. While the fundraiser will prominently emphasize the importance of girls’ education, it also aims to raise awareness about its related advantages on the overall development of the girl child, including confidence, health and hygiene, her agency to decision making and empowerment.
About Indian Women Rising: Indian Women Rising is a Cinema Collective meant to discover, nurture and shine spotlight on the Indian female talent in cinema across the world. Spearheaded by four prolific women & industry stalwarts, Ekta Kapoor, Guneet Monga, Tahira Kashyap Khurrana and Ruchikaa Kapoor Sheikh, this passion project is born with a sole purpose of disrupting the status quo and amplifying the voice of Indian female film makers because now content is Queen! The collective truly believes that when one women shines, she opens the doors for many more - It’s time, women enable women.
ABOUT EDUCATE GIRLS USA: Founded in 2014, Educate Girls USA is a nonprofit organization that focuses on mobilizing resources to support girls’ education in rural and educationally marginalized areas to ensure that all girls are in school and learning well. Educate Girls USA partners with and supports credible organizations on the ground that identify, enroll and retain out-of-school girls, and improve foundational skills in literacy and numeracy for all children.
Image source: PR; Instagram/ Priyanka Chopra Jonas