“With Girl Rising, I wanted to make a beautiful film that met three distinct goals: change minds, change lives, and change policy, around educating girls,” said director, Richard E. Robbins. “The stories of these amazing girls are at once very typical and totally extraordinary. The response at Sundance was everything we could have hoped for.”
Girl Rising, directed by Academy Award-nominated director Richard E. Robbins, journeys around the globe to witness the strength of the human spirit and the power of education to change the world. The film spotlights the stories of unforgettable girls born into unforgiving circumstances. It captures their dreams, their voices, and their remarkable lives.
This special event celebrates International Women’s Day and raises awareness about the challenges facing girls in developing countries. The premiere of Girl Rising will be followed by a panel discussing featuring a representative from the film, a woman from Uganda who benefited from an education scholarship, and representatives of New Hampshire non-profits working internationally to provide opportunities to deserving young women. “Educate Girls. Change the World.”
About The Panel
Moderator: Cynthia A. Fenneman is president and CEO of American Public Television (APT), a leading distributor of high quality, viewer-favorite programs to U.S. public television’s 350+ stations. With more than 35 years of broadcasting and production experience, she brings invaluable knowledge of the media industry to her post. During her tenure, she has led the company in new strategic and creative directions from the 2006 launch of Create® TV, the dynamic 24/7 lifestyle channel, to the 2010 distribution of WORLD, the nonfiction news and documentary channel. In the ‘90s and prior to joining APT, Fenneman served as president of Fenneman Productions, major projects executive on the launch team for Discovery Health Channel, and special projects director for PBS’s Democracy Project. For eight years, Fenneman led the broadcasting and national/local production division at New Hampshire Public Television. She has been honored with more than 40 international, national and regional awards, including 12 Emmys® and a Peabody, and is a frequent juror for the Banff World Television Festival, duPont-Columbia Awards, History Makers and other content review panels.
Panelist: Tom Yellin is Executive Producer at 10×10 and President of DocGroup, whose most ambitious project to date is 10X10: Educate Girls, Change the World, a feature-length film and social action campaign that embraces the potential of educating girls in developing countries. Tom was president and executive producer of PJ Productions and spent many years as an executive producer at ABC News. His programs have won numerous broadcast and journalism awards, including the Alfred I. DuPont-Columbia University Award, the George Foster Peabody Award, the News Emmy Award and the Polk Award.
Panelist: Karin Barndollar is a founding board member of Education for All Children, a local, nonprofit whose work is mostly focused in Kenya. EFAC provides scholarships, mentoring and global connections to qualified Kenyan students with the goal of educating a generation of self-sufficient professionals who will become leaders and change agents in their communities. Karin also serves on the Board of Families First, the Community Health Center for the Seacoast. Karin has been a principal at Seatrade International, a Portsmouth-based export marketing and trading company, since its establishment in 1988.
Panelist: Hope Mbabazi completed her high school education in Uganda under a scholarship from Forum for African Women Educationalists, a nonprofit that supports girl children’s education in Africa. She then started her College education at Mount Holyoke College and graduated in December 2010. Hope is currently pursuing a master’s degree in International Business at Hult International Business School.
Panelist: Bess Palmisciano is Founding Director of Rain for the Sahel & Sahara. Prior to founding the nonprofit in 2001, Bess enjoyed a successful and varied professional life as a college administrator and later, as an attorney. Bess was Senior Counsel at FleetBoston Financial in 2000, when she and her husband, John Ahlgren, decided to visit friends who were living in Niger. It was during this trip that the seeds of RAIN were sown. She now works full time at the helm of RAIN as Executive Director, overseeing staff and planning programs in both the U.S. and Niger. Bess spends a portion of each year living and working in Niger with the hundreds of Nigerien people who are RAIN’s partners.