Girl Connected

Five teen girls from Kenya, Peru, Jordan, Bangladesh and India go against the tide to tackle gender discrimination and violence.

Film Signature Image
Women of the World
Premiere Date
March 8, 2017
53 minutes
Funding Initiative

Koen Suidgeest

Koen Suidgeest is a documentary director, writer and photographer. A 1995 honors graduate of the Film Department of the University of the Creative Arts in England, Koen started his career as a cinematographer working on commercial campaigns, theatrical features, corporate projects and documentary. Koen’s projects mostly deal with human rights Show more issues with a recurring focus on the rights of women in the developing world. He likes to observe without judging and is known for his ability to get very close to his characters. With his documentary Casting (2006) he became the first Dutch filmmaker to be nominated for a Spanish Academy Award (Goya). His award-winning Karla’s Arrival (2011) was selected for more than 40 film festivals, broadcast in 14 countries, and won him widespread international recognition. He had three films in 2016: Out & About, portraits of parents of gay children in Indonesia, Russia, and Kenya; Solo, a personal film about grief; and Girl Connected, an inspiring documentary about five teenage girls in five developing countries who are each fighting gender discrimination in their community. Koen teaches documentary at a variety of universities, is a sought-after tutor for international writing and pitching workshops, and has served on the jury of several film festivals. After 25 years abroad, Koen moved back to The Netherlands in 2013. Show less

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Karla's Arrival

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The Film

In the documentary Girl Connected, five girls from five countries show us how rewarding it can be to swim against the tide. In Bangladesh, Peru, Jordan, India and Kenya, each one of the five young women are an inspiration to others because they decided at some point in their lives to follow their hearts and realize their personal goals. The film shows how each protagonist is an inspiration to her peers and sparks them into action in order to transform their own lives. Seeing their day-to-day activities, we learn about what encouraged them to challenge existing notions of gender inequality.

Girl Connected is an interwoven collection of inspiring portraits of teen girls that celebrate hope for a brighter future for all young adults.