Oscar-winning producer Guneet Monga Kapoor, along with Ashwini Yardi partners with She Leads Impact Fund for an initiative to combat child marriages through their documentary film Kicking Balls

In a groundbreaking collaboration, She Leads Impact Fund has joined hands with the “Kicking Balls” team to address the history of Child Marriages in India. In Sikhya Entertainment and Viniyard Film’s latest documentary “Kicking Balls”, renowned producers, Ashvini Yardi, Guneet Monga Kapoor, and Achin Jain bring this age-old issue to the forefront. The heart-tugging film explores 3 Villages in Rajasthan where an NGO is tackling Child Marriage, through football. “Kicking Balls” amplifies the voices of these courageous girls and explores their sisterhood and journey in gaining ­independence and agency.

A special screening of “Kicking Balls” was recently hosted in the capital region, attracting impact investors and drawing attention to the urgent need for strengthened national and state-level policies to eliminate child marriage by 2030. This partnership between She Leads Impact Fund, Vineyard Films, and Sikhya Entertainment is dedicated to ending child marriage and supporting married girls in rural households. This partnership aims to harness the power of storytelling, grant funding, corporate partnerships, and technology to drive social change and empower young girls trapped in the cycle of early marriage. To support the mission of ending child marriage and empowering affected girls, the She Leads Impact Fund is providing $25,000 in funding to bring transformative change to the lives of women married as children.

Commenting on this, Director Vijayeta Kumar said, “This film is very close to my heart because I belong to Rajasthan. Kicking Balls is the story of these brave young girls from rural Rajasthan, tackling their way out of forced child marriages, poverty and caste oppression by playing football and fighting for their right to study. This film began as an exploration of everyday feminism and unbelievable courage. I’m really excited to see how this film grows with each woman and spreads awareness to bring reforms in each community we take it to.”

Producer Ashvini Yardi added, “Kicking Balls is very close to my heart. In 2008, I brought India’s first comprehensive show on ‘Child Marriage’, titled ‘Balika Vadhu’ which revolutionized Indian television and sparked dialogue around the reforms needed to suppress this age-old practice. During my 31 years in the TV and film industry, I’ve realized the impact we leave and the stories we tell shape society. Working with Guneet on a topic so close to my heart in this documentary allowed us to validate that conversation, that films can become more and stand for more. And now, with Ajaita onboard, the mission to bring this impact through grassroots villages across India is on. Through fundraising, we intend to bring transformative change to the lives of women married as children. I’m honoured to be a part of this initiative as a filmmaker to leave an impact on viewers through storytelling.”

Producer Guneet Monga Kapoor said, “Each year, 12 Million girls are married before the age of 18. That’s 23 girls every minute. “Kicking Balls” became a project that we knew could not just be a film, it had to be a conversation. After having screened in several schools across India, I was always asked, what more I could do to help these young girls. We’re storytellers, meant to reflect what we see at the grassroots- our effort is to tell stories that ignite conversations and spark change in the policies of the country. I was extremely fortunate to meet  Ajaita Shah, who exchanged her views and the magnitude of work she has done so far in fundraising to help women across the country. Together, we wish to go a step further and collaborate to engage 1…

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