Netflix has picked up standalone animated short film Sitara: Let Girls Dream. Directed by two-time Academy Award winner Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy (Saving Face and A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness), Sitara tells the story of a 14-year-old girl who dreams of becoming a pilot in a society that doesn’t allow girls to dream.
Produced and financed by Vice Studios, Imke Ferhmann serves as a producer on the project, alongside Obaid-Chinoy through her prodco Waddi Animation. It is executive produced by Gloria Steinem, LGBTQ activist Ariel Wengroff and Darla Anderson. The latter is a former Pixar producer who worked on Coco and Toy Story 3, then signed an overall deal with Netflix in February to develop and produce animated and live-action feature films and series. Her deal is part of the streamers’ push into including more diverse voices in its productions, Netflix VP of kids and family Melissa Cobb said in a statement at the time.
Chime for Change, a social impact initiative from Gucci, has partnered with Obaid-Chinoy and Wengroff to launch the “Let Girls Dream” campaign, focused on encouraging girls around the world to share their dreams and inspire each other. The campaign mirrors the film’s messages around gender equality and seeks to remove the barriers stopping women from succeeding, such as child marriage, which is depicted in the film. Gucci and the producers are rolling out a school program and a website for the campaign.
Netflix has picked up the new film ahead of its first original animated feature, Klaus, which hits the SVOD on November 15. Netflix has been making an awards push for the film, submitting it for consideration to the 92nd Academy Awards earlier this month. Directed by Sergio Pablos, the holiday film is about a postman who brings a town together and creates Santa Claus. The streamer is also launching animated films The Willoughbys and Over The Moon in 2020.