The short tells the story of Pari, a 14-year-old girl who dreams of becoming a pilot while growing up in a society that doesn’t allow her to dream.
“Young girls everywhere still face considerable hurdles in achieving their dreams,” Obaid-Chinoy said Friday. Sitara embodies that struggle; it is the story of Pari, a young girl who dreams of becoming a pilot and is robbed of it. For me, Sitara is more than a film; it is a movement that we want to start across the world, that encourages parents to invest in their girls’ dreams, freeing their daughters from the burdens of early marriage.”
Vice Studios financed and produced Sitara. Imke Fehrmann serves as producer on the film. Women’s rights activist Gloria Steinem and Darla Anderson — the Academy Award-winning producer of Coco and Toy Story 3 — Vice Media Group CEO Nancy Dubuc and Emmy-nominated Ariel Wengroff serve as executive producers, as well as Sharmeen’s animation production company Waadi Animation. Adnan Saeed joins the crew as CG supervisor, while Babrus Khan is the character designer and Amin Khimani the FX supervisor. Salman Nasir is the art director and Kamran Khan as the animation director. Grammy and four-time Emmy-winning composer Laura Karpman wrote the score.
“Thanks to the universal language of animation, Sitara will help girls everywhere to dream and to soar,” said Steinem.
“12 million girls every year are forced into child marriage, losing their ability to dream,” added Wengroff. “We hope this film gives young people and their families the ability to spark a conversation for a different perspective on what we allow our children to aspire to be when they grow up. We are thrilled to have Netflix as a partner to share this project with the world.”
Obaid-Chinoy is the only female director to have won two Oscars by the age of 37 and her work has been screened around the world. Saving Face (HBO), which chronicles the lives of survivors of acid violence, won the 2012 Oscar for Best Documentary Short and was also Pakistan’s first Oscar. A Girl in the River: The Price for Forgiveness (HBO) followed the honor killings in Pakistan won the 2015 Oscar for Best Documentary Short. Additional projects include: Song of Lahore, Saving Face, Peace Keepers and Transgenders: Pakistan’s Open Secret.
Sitara: Let Girls Dream joins a growing slate of Netflix animated titles for families, which includes feature films Klaus from Sergio Pablos (launching on Netflix on Nov. 15th) as well as The Willoughbys from Kris Pearn and Over The Moon from Glen Keane in 2020. Netflix’s growing slate of animated series from all over the world includes Dragons: Rescue Riders from DreamWorks Animation, Dino Girl Gauko from Akira Shigino, Kid Cosmic from Craig McCracken, Trash Truck from Max Keane, City of Ghosts from Elizabeth Ito, Centaurworld from Megan Nicole Dong, Maya and the Three from Jorge Gutierrez, Battle Kitty from Matt Layzell, and Mama K’s Team 4 from Malenga Mulendema.
CAA represents Obaid-Chinoy with CAA Media Finance brokering the deal on behalf of the filmmaker.