Image Nation launches Stand #WithMalala schools outreach program with a private screening for teachers and students

October 2015 Schools across the UAE urged to bring students to screenings of He Named Me Malala and inspire a new generation of education ambassadors

Abu Dhabi, Oct 20, 2015: Image Nation Abu Dhabi has launched a schools outreach programme to coincide with the upcoming release of the film He Named Me Malala.

The programme aims to raise awareness in the UAE about the global education crisis, inspiring students to value their own education and become advocates for education around the world.

It is one strand of the Malala Fund's 12-month global social action campaigncalled Stand #withMalala, calling on audiences around the world to show their support for girls' education.

Working with the film’s regional distributor Empire International, Image Nation is offering schools in the UAE discounted group screenings and educational tools to help teachers engage students and spark classroom discussions on topics including education, human rights and active citizenship. Schools across the country are being urged to get in touch now to secure their places.

The campaign was launched with a private screening of the film for a select group of teachers and students in Abu Dhabi.

Michelle Flemming, a teacher from The British School Al Khubairat, took a handful of her students to the screening.  Speaking afterwards, she said: “Watching He Named Me Malala made me proud to be a teacher. It shows you how powerful education can be and how we still need to fight for equality in education.

He Named Me Malala should be part of every school’s curriculum as it is about current global issues which all school children should be aware of. It is an inspirational story and demonstrates what can be done when people come together.

“I would definitely encourage other teachers to see the film and to take their students to see it, it reassures you as a teacher that you are making a difference in children’s lives.”

He Named Me Malala is an intimate portrait of Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Malala Yousafzai, who was targeted by the Taliban and severely wounded by a gunshot when returning home on her school bus in Pakistan’s Swat Valley.

Tala Taifour, a 17-year-old Emirati student from The British School Al Khubairat, said: “I loved how this film portrayed Malala. We take education for granted here in the UAE, whereas 66 million girls around the world do not have access to education.

Latifa Al Zaabi, a 18 year-old Emirati student from New York University Abu Dhabi said: “I feel so fortunate. For us it is normal to go to school which means we don’t appreciate how lucky we are to have such easy access to education.

“I can’t wait for it to be screened in the cinemas so I can tell all my friends to go and watch it.”

The United Arab Emirates is working actively and effectively to promote women’s human rights, women’s empowerment, and gender equality around the world.  The partners behind the film believe that He Named Malala can inspire meaningful change in the area of girls’ education.

Michael Garin, CEO of Image Nation, said: “This is more than just a film. He Named Me Malala aims to help raise awareness around the critical education crisis in our region and beyond. We at Image Nation fully support the UAE’s initiative to promote education equality for all, and we are committed to ensuring the positive messages in this film are seen by school children everywhere.”

Mario Jr. Haddad, Vice President of Empire International, said: “We are so pleased to be supporting this campaign and schools outreach programme. He Named Me Malala is a powerful film which holds a number of positive messages we know children in the UAE can benefit from. We hope Malala’s messages can be spread across the region and make a difference in the fight for education for all.”

He Named Me Malala is being released by Fox Searchlight Pictures, in association with Image Nation Abu Dhabi, Participant Media and National Geographic Channel. The documentary was produced by Walter Parkes and Laurie MacDonald under their long-term partnership with Image Nation, and also produced by director Davis Guggenheim.

Last month the film made its international premiere at the Telluride Film Festival where it was met with standing ovations and earlier this month it was released in US cinemas where it received rave reviews.

The film’s eagerly anticipated UAE and Middle Eastern release is on November 5

For those who would like to find out more about how schools can get involved, please contact abeer.abushmeis@imagenation.ae