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“The Audacity to Dream” Documentary Sparks Call for Education Reform”

by eyesonhollywood
A powerful documentary screened on May 20th is igniting urgent dialogue around the need for strengthening the education system in disadvantaged communities. “The Audacity to Dream,” directed by Sharon Angel, chronicles the inspiring journey of Manisha, a young girl from rural South India who defies daunting odds to pursue her dreams of becoming a doctor through education – a generational aspiration in her family hindered by lack of opportunities.

For director Sharon Angel, a best-selling author, podcast host, and media executive, Manisha’s story struck a personal chord. Born in the same Indian state, Angel was inspired to direct the documentary after hearing Manisha’s story from Ashwini Kumar, the CEO of Vibha, a volunteer-driven non-profit organization breaking generational poverty through inclusive and equitable high-quality education to children from underserved communities. Angel relates to Manisha, having benefited from educational opportunities herself.

“I decided to document Manisha’s journey to highlight the vital importance of education, particularly for young girls,” Angel explains. “The film underscores that quality education is a basic human right, and how Vibha’s initiatives in foundational literacy and numeracy, including English literacy, is boosting confidence and capabilities.”

Sharon Angel

The exclusive screening at the Beverly Hills Library drew an array of influential guests. In attendance were Vice Mayor Dr. Sharona Nazarian, demonstrating the city’s commitment to educational reform, and Shauna Shapiro representing Showcase Entertainment. Emmy award-winning journalist Stella Inger-Escobedo led a panel discussion following the screening.

(L-R) Vice Mayor Sharona Nazarian, Director Sharon Angel, Award Winning Journalist Stella Escobedo
(Courtesy of Yassir Habeeb)

Also present were Nalini and Daniel Jokmels from Capstone, along with attorneys Jennifer Sahota and Nileema Gavini from Gavini Law, champions of social justice aligning with Sharon Angel’s mission of empowerment. Monika Erande, a dedicated Vibha board member who facilitates this program in India, embodied the non-profit’s hands-on approach and added “English serves as a global language, essential for international communication. In the context of India, higher education often takes place in English, making it crucial for children to learn the language to access better educational opportunities.”

Shot in both India and Los Angeles, the documentary aims to spotlight the need for quality public education reforms in the U.S. as well. Angel advocates for equipping children with essential skills like communication, crucial for future careers in a rapidly advancing technological world.

“I hope the documentary fosters collaborations between parents, teachers and stakeholders to develop every child’s potential and identity, preparing them for successful futures,” Angel states.

While Manisha’s story unfolds in India, the film poses sobering parallels to the state of public education in America, where two-thirds of children struggle with reading proficiency. Through her indomitable spirit, Manisha personifies the life-changing power of quality learning opportunities.

Vibha hopes the documentary’s emotional impact will galvanize a broad coalition to break down obstacles and ensure all children can dream audaciously about their futures. As “The Audacity to Dream” continues its impactful screening tour, it stands to be a powerful catalyst for the education reform movement taking root across America.

To know more about Vibha and “The Audacity to Dream”  visit the links below:

The Audacity to Dream

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