21 aspiring young filmmakers from 13 countries direct digital shorts spotlighting the stories of female trailblazers to inspire the next generation to follow their dreams
Series will be shared across social media to unlock up to a $1M donation from Disney to the United Nations Foundation’s Girl Up initiative
BURBANK, Calif. (October 10, 2018) – Ahead of International Day of the Girl (October 11), Disney today launched a new global video series offering advice and inspiration on achieving success for the next generation of young leaders around the globe. The #DreamBigPrincess video series, produced and directed by young women from the United Nations Foundation’s Girl Up initiative, shares the stories of 20 trailblazing women across technology, entertainment, medicine, law, sports, arts, science, fashion and politics to show the next generation what’s possible if you dream big.
“Dreaming big is one of the most important things any of us can do – to keep aiming higher,” says Kathleen Kennedy, President of Lucasfilm, who was interviewed for the series by Maud Webster, age 16, from the UK. “The #DreamBigPrincess series is giving a voice to a group of talented young women, helping them tell stories that kids can learn from, whatever their ambition.”
Disney provided mentorship support for the 21 Girl Up leaders from different corners of the globe as they captured the stories of a diverse group of role models in digital shorts. Each video will be shared across Disney’s global media platforms as part of a campaign to unlock up to a $1 million donation to Girl Up, an initiative of the UN Foundation to support girls’ leadership. Videos can be found here.
“We have the responsibility to hand that baton of self-belief and positivity to the next generation,” says Jo Malone CBE, Entrepreneur and Founder of Jo Loves, who was interviewed by Bethel Kyeza, age 16. “Storytelling can help us believe that no matter who we are or where we come from, we have every right to write the story of our own life and fulfill it.”
“There’s a line in Mary Poppins where she says anything is possible, even the impossible. I think that really symbolizes what dreaming big is all about, the idea if you want something big enough that the universe is going to conspire to give it to you,” says Emily Blunt, Golden Globe Award-winning actress who was interviewed by Marisa Torre, age 17.
Spanning a host of professions, an accomplished roster of women share their tips for success in the 20-part series:
- Asmaa Boujibar– Research scientist and the first Moroccan woman in history to join NASA Johnson Space Center.
- Ashima Narain – Photographer, filmmaker and former photo editor for National Geographic Traveler India.
- Blanca Treviño– President and CEO of Softtek, the leading IT services company in Latin America, champion for entrepreneurialism, IT and the role of women in business.
- Emily Blunt – Golden Globe Award-winning actress and star of upcoming Disney movies Mary Poppins Returnsand Jungle Cruise.
- Celina Caesar-Chavannes – Canadian member of Parliament who served as Parliamentary Secretary to Prime Minister of Canada.
- Jennifer Lee – Chief creative officer at Walt Disney Animation Studios, writer and co-director of Disney’sFrozenfor which she won the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature.
- Jo Malone CBE – Founder and creative director of Jo Loves, responsible for creating some of the world’s most-loved fragrances, awarded a CBE in the 2018 Queen’s Birthday Honors List for her services to the British Economy and the GREAT Britain campaign.
- Karen Jonz – Brazilian skateboarder, designer and musician whowon the 2008 X Games women’s vertical and the World Cup Skateboarding Championship four times, first Brazilian to win the title of World Champion.
- Karen Walker– Designer with a global, multimillion-dollar eponymous fashion label,awarded the Companion of the New Zealand Order of Meritfor her services to fashion design in 2014.
- Kathleen Kennedy – Film producer and president of Lucasfilm, has produced more than 60 films, including three of the highest-grossing movies in motion picture history.
- Leia Mi –Art director for Shanghai Disneyland who creates concept designs and provides art direction for Shanghai Disney Resort, was a creative designer at Walt Disney Imagineering.
- Maria Teresa Ruiz – Chilean astronomer, the first woman to study astronomy at the University of Chile, the first female scientist to receive a PhD in astrophysics from Princeton University and the first woman to receive Chile’s National Prize for Exact Sciences.
- Martina Stoessel – Actress and singer who played the leading role on the internationally successful Disney Channel telenovela Violetta, first Argentine singer to reach one million views on YouTube in less than 24 hours for her single “Te Quiero Mas.”
- Monica Lopez Hidalgo – Accomplished professor and researcher of neuroscience, one of the winners of the L’Oréal Unesco Conacyt AMC 2017 Scholarships for Women in Science for her research on the deterioration of cognitive functions related to age.
- Ndifanji Namacha – Medical doctor and assistant lecturer of public health, Malaria No More UK youth ambassador, delivered a keynote speech at the 2018 Malaria Summit in London.
- Paola Carosella –Award-winning chef and restaurateur, opened her first restaurant in São Paulo, Brazil, in 2001, has appeared as a judge on MasterChef Brazil since 2014.
- Robin Roberts – Award-winning broadcaster and co-anchor of ABC’s Good Morning America.
- Susan Prescott – Vice president of product marketing at Apple with more than 25 years of experience in the computing industry.
- Virginie Delalande – Founder of Handicapower, first deaf person to become a lawyer in France.
- Victoria Arlen– Accomplished motivational speaker, actress, model and swimmer, won three Silver medals and a Gold medal from the London 2012 Paralympic Games, joined ESPN as one of the company’s youngest on-air talents.
“The #DreamBigPrincess series documents a host of inspiring stories and diverse experiences, but the common message is clear,” says Zenia Mucha, Senior Executive Vice President, Communications, The Walt Disney Company. “Having a big dream is the first step on the path to success, and positive role models are critical in helping you continue on that journey – whether that’s a fictional entrepreneur like Tiana or a real-world success story like any of the women in this series.”
The aspiring filmmakers embarked on their creative journeys back in July, with ongoing mentorship from Disney, Apple and female-led production company Summerjax ahead of the series debut. Each video was shot on iPhone X and edited using Final Cut Pro X running on MacBook Pro.
“It’s important to have role models – and by role models I mean the 21 girls that are part of the ‘Dream Big, Princess’ project – out there to inspire other girls,” says Susan Prescott, Vice President of Product Marketing at Apple, who was interviewed by Jessica Zhang, age 16. “I think it’s important to recognize their talents, let them have a voice and show the great things they can do.”
Through Disney’s collaboration with Girl Up, the #DreamBigPrincess campaign aims to make a tangible difference for girls who face challenges in achieving their dreams. For each like or share of a video or photo posted publicly with #DreamBigPrincess on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter, Disney Worldwide Services will donate US $1 to Girl Up in support of girls’ leadership and empowerment (minimum donation: $500,000/maximum donation: $1 million). This charitable initiative kicks off today and runs until November 20, 2018.
“Last year’s donation from Disney has already had a huge impact, allowing us to extend our network of Girl Up clubs outside the US by more than 50%, giving more girls the leadership skills they need to advocate for themselves and others,” says Girl Up Co-Executive Director, Melissa Kilby. “We’re so proud of the series that our young Girl Up leaders have created and hope people around the world will play their part in supporting the rights of girls by liking and sharing them on social media.”
This year’s video series builds on the success of the #DreamBigPrincess Global Photography series, which saw 19 female photographers from 15 countries capture inspiring stories of real-world women and girls to encourage kids to reach for their goals. The campaign reached millions of families around the world unlocking a $1 million donation to Girl Up in less than five days. The images from the multi-award-winning campaign were also honored with an exhibition at the United Nations Headquarters in New York City.
The initiative is part of Disney’s ongoing Dream Big, Princess campaign that encourages kids everywhere to dream big by highlighting key story moments and inspiring qualities that each Disney Princess showcases through her adventures, such as Merida’s bravery, Cinderella’s kindness or Tiana’s perseverance. Disney is committed to helping today’s youth create the future they imagine by providing them with inspiration and opportunity through transformative programming, of which this campaign is an example.
CLICK HERE to view the #DreamBigPrincess video series and biographies of each of the aspiring filmmakers and interview subjects.
In honor of the new #DreamBigPrincess digital shorts series, all Disney Parks guests around the world are also invited to Disney bound in outfits inspired by their favorite female Disney characters on October 11, declared the International Day of the Girl by the United Nations. Disney bounding can include color schemes, patterns, accessories and more that speak to favorite Disney characters. Disney stores nationwide will also celebrate the launch of the initiative with in-store Dream Big, Princess events on Saturday, October 13th.
About The Walt Disney Company
The Walt Disney Company, together with its subsidiaries, is a diversified worldwide entertainment company with operations in four business segments: Media Networks; Studio Entertainment; Parks, Experiences and Consumer Products; and Direct-to-Consumer and International. Disney is a Dow 30 company and had annual revenues of $55.1 billion in its Fiscal Year 2017.
About Girl Up
Girl Up is a global leadership development initiative, positioning girls to be leaders in the movement for gender equality. With resources in five languages and 2,500 Girl Up Clubs in more than 100 countries, we’ve trained 40,000 girls of all backgrounds to create tangible change for girls everywhere. Girl Up provides leadership training and gives girls tools to become gender equality advocates and activists. Through our programs, girls broaden their social impact skill set, benefit from a platform to tell their stories, and apply STEM for social good. Our girl leaders create real policy change at local and national levels, help raise millions of dollars to support United Nations programs that reach tens of thousands of girls around the world, and build community-based movements. Girl Up was founded by the United Nations Foundation in 2010 and continues to work across a global community of partners to achieve gender equality worldwide. Learn more at GirlUp.org.
About the United Nations Foundation
The United Nations Foundation acts as a strategic partner to help the United Nations mobilize the ideas, people, and resources it needs to deliver and to grow a durable constituency for collective action. We focus on issues at the heart of the Sustainable Development Goals, build initiatives across sectors to solve problems at scale, and engage citizens who seek action. Founded in 1998 by entrepreneur and philanthropist Ted Turner, the UN Foundation works with philanthropic, corporate, government, and individual partners. Learn more at: www.unfoundation.org.
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