Special Screening For Kids Only

The Carmel International Film Festival is proud to announce a unique program using the power of film to take the fight against bullying straight to the cure. A Brave Heart: The Lizzie Velasquez Story is a powerful documentary following the inspiring journey of 26 year old, 58 pound Lizzie Velasquez from cyber-bullying victim to anti-bullying activist. “It would be hard to find a more powerful speaker on the subject of bullying – and resilience – than Lizzie,” says CIFF CEO Tom Burns. “She is an inspiration and while we are thrilled to screen the film for our general festival audience, we knew we had to do more. We had to reach the kids who live and, unfortunately, sometimes die on the Internet.” So with that in mind, CIFF, in partnership with the Monterey County Office of Education and local schools, organized a program where more than 500 middle and high school students will be brought in for a special screening at the Sunset Cultural Arts Center on October 23, 2015, with Lizzie and director and producer Sara Hirsh Bordo live in attendance for a special Q&A following the showing . “Since we premiered at SXSW, it has been a dream of ours to hold a kids only screening,” says Sara Hirsh Bordo, head of Women Rising, the production shingle of A Brave Heart. “We are honored to do this with CIFF and especially during National Bullying Prevention Month.” Lizzie’s story and commitment have struck a chord across the country with literally thousands, including many celebrities like Kylie Jenner, America Ferrera, Katie Couric and Chris Hemsworth, joining the online movement #ImWithLizzie.

Born with a rare syndrome that prevents her from gaining weight, Elizabeth “Lizzie” Velasquez was first bullied as a child in school for looking different and, later online, as a teenager when she discovered a YouTube video labeling her “The World’s Ugliest Woman.” The film chronicles unheard stories and details of Lizzie’s physical and emotional journey up to her multi-million viewed TEDx talk, and follows her pursuit as a motivational speaker to Capitol Hill as she lobbies for the first federal anti-bullying bill.

About Women Rising

Women Rising champions unique stories and creates memorable experiences that empower women and girls worldwide. In 2013, Women Rising produced and programmed the inaugural TEDxAustinWomen in partnership with the United Nations Foundation. The event became the #1 viewed TEDWomen event of 2013 from over 220 events across 58 countries. In 2014, Women Rising produced the documentary A Brave Heart: The Lizzie Velasquez Story. The film’s production was partly funded via a Kickstarter campaign and was one of the site’s most successful crowdfunded documentary projects of all time. A Brave Heart premiered opening weekend of the 2015 South by Southwest (SXSW) Film Festival and went on to win the Audience Award in its category, in addition to top honors at every following festival it has played including Newport Beach Film Festival, the Geena Davis founded Bentonville Film Festival, Illuminate Film Festival, Justice Film Festival, New York’s Lower East Side Film Festival, Michael Moore’s Traverse City Film Festival, and the Rhode Island International Film Festival. Directed and produced by Women Rising CEO and Founder, Sara Hirsh Bordo, the film begins its US release by Cinedigm this fall and will begin its International release early 2016.