Angelina Jolie executive produced ‘Difret,’ a drama based on the true story of a 14-year-old Ethiopian girl, Hirut, who is kidnapped in her rural village by a much older man and kept captive as his future bride. When Hirut, played beautifully by Tizita Hagere, fights back and accidentally kills her captor, she faces the death sentence, as dictated by tribal law.
“The movies we screen here tend to be unfiltered,” Barnard President Debora Spar told me on the red carpet of the Athena Film Festival Saturday night. “They’re powerful. They’re different voices. And we just want to provide a platform to get those voices out there.”
“We’ve been very lucky,” Silverstein says. “People have given their time to come in and share and teach, because we want to inspire people. The goal, really, is to just allow girls to dream and to believe that they could be directors and producers and writers, and for boys to see women can do this, too.” Silverstein hopes the message they take away is, “Everybody can be successful. It’s about talent. It shouldn’t be about your gender.”