Driving with Selvi travels the world.
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Atlanta Marque
And excited movie star holding our 2 Atlanta awards
Hello Friends,

It’s been a while since our last major update, but not because there's been nothing to tell you, rather, almost too much.  Here's just a taste of what we've been up to.

The film has had a veritable flurry of festival appearances recently, including: Victoria, FICCI FLO (Mumbai), Kingston and Wakefield, FrauenFilm Tage (Austria), Salem, Stockholm Feminist, Women’s Film Festival Vermont, Berlin Feminist Filmweek, Thessaloniki Documentary festival, Martha’s Vineyard, Movies that Matter (Netherlands), Vera (Finland), Sarasota Film Festival, Atlanta, 4 Nights for Justice in Key West, back to Kingston for a Kingston Canadian Film Festival Encore presentation, and then on to Geena Davis' Bentonville Film Festival and Documentary Edge in Wellington NZ.

Driving with Selvi aired in the Netherlands in March on NPO2, and earlier in the year in Jordan, Peru and Kenya on public TV, through our partner ITVS’s Women and Girls Lead Global series. Elisa has been flying back and forth across the globe (with Selvi for much of it) sharing the film with so many audiences. In fact, since its release late September, Driving with Selvi has appeared at more than 30 festivals and reached audiences on six continents.
  • Truth to Power Award, for best doc, Reel Asian International Film Fest
  • Top 10 Audience Favourite, International Documentary Festival Amsterdam
  • Best of Fest Award, Wakefield International Film Festival
  • New Mavericks Award (recognizing a woman director), Atlanta Film Festival
  • Best Feature Documentary Award, Atlanta Film Festival
  • Nominee, Golden Sheaf Award, Best Documentary – POV, Yorkton Film Festival
  • Nominee, Golden Sheaf Award, Best Director – Non-Fiction, Yorkton Film Festival (announcing May 29)
  • Human Rights and Arts Film Festival (Melbourne, Aus.): May 17 (Elisa present)
  • Documentary Edge Film Festival (Auckland, NZ): May 21 (Elisa present) and May 29
  • Doc Edge Director’s Talk with Elisa (Auckland, NZ): May 21
  • Yorkton Film Festival (Yorkton, Saskatchewan), May 27
For full details and links to buy tickets online, see our Screenings page.
This month we held our first official educational screening at La Salle Secondary school in Kingston, which was attended by 100+ students. The young people who watched the film were deeply moved by Selvi’s story, and Elisa was deeply moved by their response to the film.

“Watching Selvi face so many challenges with such a positive outlook was pretty amazing. Sitting in a school auditorium watching a girl who never got to study makes me appreciate what we have here in Canada, and has given me a bigger picture of the world.” (Grade 10 student)

Request a Screening if you’d like to bring the film to your community or educational institution; we’ll be launching this program mid-summer to early fall.

We’ve said it before, but we will again… thank you so much to everyone who contributed to our fall request to support Selvi’s festival travel. Selvi and audiences both had the amazing opportunity to connect together in Atlanta, Wakefield, Salem, Kingston, Toronto, Amsterdam, Mumbai, and New York.

Selvi has grown tremendously with each of these experiences, and she’s finally coming to realize the impact of her story, and how it can change the lives of those who see it.  Selvi is such a survivor so I shouldn’t be so impressed by how adaptable she is, but I (Elisa) am.  From red carpet photo shoots, to being whisked away (without me) to audience members’ homes for dinner, to traveling 30 hours each way without complaining, she absorbs everything, and can’t get enough. She managed the snow (with quite a bit of complaining), learned to "drive" a stroller, and made lifelong friends along the way.

She’s enjoyed her new relationships and experiences so much, and the inspiration goes both ways. So much so that as soon as she reached home on her most recent trip, she signed up to do her grade 10 exams, 16 years after she was dragged out of grade 9.

We are very excited to let you know that the film has begun screening in India (photos below) as part of the Hero Academy with our partner ITVS. This is a special nine-week intervention for boys and young men to develop habits for healthy masculinity and to take on an active role as allies and advocates for gender equality in their communities. This program will see the film screened for 20 groups of young men in 2016. ITVS will also be taking the film to 180 communities with larger grassroots screenings in slums in Delhi and Mumbai, Orissa, and rural Maharashtra and Rajasthan, with a reach of approximately 10,000 people.
We couldn’t be happier with a partner like ITVS, and we’re foreseeing some really valuable and meaningful conversations and actions coming out of these screenings. This is only the beginning though, and we’re right in the thick of planning and deepening our work with new partners.

We'll have more news about this in our next newsletter. For now thanks to those of you who have already supported our campaign in India, and we couldn’t be where we are now without your help.

Please donate here.

All the best, Elisa, Selvi and Julia
Heros Academy screening Maharashtra
Heros Academy screening Rajasthan
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