UAE firm secures funding for Malala documentary

Participant Media to co-finance documentary
Malala Yousafzai.
Malala Yousafzai.

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Image Nation Abu Dhabi has announced that it will has secured more funding for a documentary about Pakistani teenager Malala Yousafzai who became a global icon for her defiance after being shot in the head by the Taliban.

In addition to its financial commitment, Participant Media will collaborate with Image Nation to launch a social action and advocacy campaign to expand the reach and impact of the film release, a statement said.

Directed by Academy Award-winner Davis Guggenheim (An Inconvenient Truth), and produced by Walter Parkes and Laurie MacDonald, the feature-length documentary about Yousafzai is expected to release early next year.

In 2012, the Pakistani student activist gained international recognition when she survived a brutal assassination attempt by the Taliban at age 14.

Shot in the head and neck when gunmen opened fire on her school bus in Pakistan’s Swat Valley, Malala was targeted for speaking out on behalf of girls’ education in her community.

Mohamed Al Mubarak, chairman of Image Nation, commented: “Participant's passion for the project, along with our past experience on a number of films together, made them perfect co-financing partners. We're excited for them to come aboard. Our combined expertise will ensure Malala’s story will help inspire audiences around the world.”

Jim Berk, Participant Media’s CEO, added: “Participant is proud to be part of the incredible team bringing Malala’s voice, and her fight, to audiences around the world, from the screen and into the community, to spark global engagement around education as a universal right.”

Participant Media, the company behind Guggenheim’s previous documentaries, An Inconvenient Truth and Waiting for ‘Superman’, is focused on entertainment that inspires social change.

Participant Media has a long-standing relationship with Image Nation, having partnered on the Participant Media/Image Nation Film Fund, which financed such films as Cesar Chavez, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, The Help, and upcoming releases A Most Violent Year and Out of the Dark.

Michael Garin, CEO of Image Nation, said: “Malala is an inspiration all over the world and we are honoured to play a part in bringing her story to the big screen. We have believed in this project from its inception and are now pleased to have Participant Media, who are strong advocates for social action, as a financing partner on the project.”

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