Short Film Showcase: For India’s Girls, Gardens Offer Escape From Early Marriage

Nearly half of India’s girls marry before they turn 18. Thanks to a micro-agricultural group that fosters financial independence for some 40,000 girls in West Bengal, 16-year-old Monika is able to sell gourds from her garden at a local market and put off an early marriage. Directed by academy-award winner Megan Mylan, After My Garden Grows was one of the films selected for the Sundance Institute’s Short Film Challenge. I spoke to Megan about the project and her film.

How did you come to make this film?

This project came to me as a commission from the Sundance Institute, which had received a grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation with the goal of attracting filmmakers to tell stories about overcoming poverty and hunger. It’s rare as an independent filmmaker that you have someone offering the funding but giving you the creative freedom and editorial control to tell the story as you see it. Their focus on effective strategies was a good fit for me. Like many documentary filmmakers, I’m drawn to social justice issues, but I also look for stories that help us understand where progress is happening. Not simplified stories that make everything —> Read More Here


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