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March 8th, 2016 -
What better occasion than International Women's Day, to unveil the new doc that the amazing Sara Hirsh Bordo and her Women Rising are bringing to life! From the same team that brought us the inspiring "A Brave Heart: The Lizzie Velasquez Story", we know we are in for something special with the "Fraidy Reiss" project. Check out the full press release below.
WOMEN RISING ANNOUNCES FRAIDY REISS AS NEXT DOCUMENTARY
Forced Marriage Survivor Turned Activist Against Child Marriage in the U.S. Grants Rights to Team Behind Award-Winning Lizzie Velasquez Documentary
March 7, 2016 – Women Rising, the media and production company that produced the critically acclaimed documentary A BRAVE HEART: THE LIZZIE VELASQUEZ STORY, has secured the rights and story of Fraidy Reiss, survivor turned activist against forced marriage and Founder of Unchained At Last. Following her directorial debut on the award-winning film, A BRAVE HEART, Sara Hirsh Bordo will direct and produce.
Brooklyn-born Fraidy Reiss was 19 when her family arranged her marriage to a man who turned out to be violent. With no education or job and trapped for more than a decade, Fraidy became the first in her family to attend college; she graduated at 32 as valedictorian from Rutgers University, secured a divorce, and won full custody of her two daughters. Fraidy went on to found Unchained At Last, the only non-profit in the United States dedicated to helping women and girls escape or avoid forced and arranged marriages.
“This is a pivotal moment in U.S. history, in terms of forced and child marriage. In the last few months, we at Unchained and our allies have seen legislation introduced in four states to end child marriage, and we will continue to work hard to ensure that other states join,” said Fraidy Reiss. “I have often received offers to tell my story – Sara showed me she understands the complex nature of forced and child marriage. I trust her completely.”
Unchained At Last hopes to eliminate child marriage across the U.S. While 18 years old is the minimum age of marriage in most U.S. states, every state allows exceptions under which children are allowed to marry. Thousands of children, as young as 10, have been married recently under these exceptions.
“When I read Fraidy’s New York Times OpEd, it brought forward an unspoken reality of child marriage that is happening in every state in the U.S.,” said Sara Hirsh Bordo. “I’m honored that Fraidy and the Unchained At Last organization have chosen me to tell her story, which represents the stories of so many others across the globe, and holds up a mirror to what most Americans feel is only happening outside our borders.”
Production on the UNTITLED FRAIDY REISS DOCUMENTARY is slated to begin Fall of 2016.
About Women Rising
Women Rising champions unique stories and creates memorable experiences that empower women and girls worldwide. In 2013, Women Rising produced and programmed the inaugural TEDxAustinWomen in partnership with the United Nations Foundation. The event became the #1 viewed TEDWomen event of 2013 from over 220 events across 58 countries. In 2014, Women Rising produced the documentary “A BRAVE HEART: The Lizzie Velasquez Story.” The film’s production was funded via a Kickstarter campaign and was one of the site’s most successful crowdfunded documentary projects of all time. A BRAVE HEART premiered opening weekend of the 2015 South by Southwest (SXSW) Film Festival and went on to win the Audience Award in its category in addition to top honors at every single festival it has played since then including Newport Beach Film Festival, the Geena Davis founded Bentonville Film Festival, Illuminate Film Festival, Justice Film Festival, New York’s Lower East Side Film Festival, Michael Moore’s Traverse City Film Festival, the Rhode Island International Film Festival, and the Carmel Film Festival. Directed and produced by Women Rising CEO and Founder, Sara Hirsh Bordo, the film began its US release by Cinedigm on September 25, 2015 and will begin its international release early 2016.
About Unchained At Last
Unchained At Last is the only organization in the US dedicated to helping women and girls leave or avoid arranged/forced marriages and rebuild their lives. Unchained provides free legal and social services and emotional support, while also raising awareness and pushing for relevant legislation. Unchained At Last envisions a world where every woman is free to choose whether, when and whom to marry — and whether to get divorced.