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Fact: Girls across the globe face barriers to education that boys simply do not. Sixty-six million are currently out of school; 150 million are sexually assaulted each year; and in the past 30 seconds, about 13 were forced into arranged marriages.

Scary, right?

Statistics like these inspired the new film Girl Rising, a documentary-narrative hybrid about nine extraordinary girls from around the world--and the opportunities afforded them by education. The filmic equivalent of a short-story collection, each segment stars a real girl acting out an episode from her own life.

The scripts were written by novelists from the girls’ home countries (Cambodia, Afghanistan, Peru and more) and then narrated by actresses like Meryl Streep, Anne Hathaway and Kerry Washington. The most affecting story, for instance, was written by Haiti’s Edwidge Danticat, read by Cate Blanchett and stars an infectiously adorable child who refuses to give up on schooling in post-earthquake Port-au-Prince.

Girl Rising is getting traditional distribution in New York and L.A., but anyone can host their own screening by filling out a request and soliciting sufficient ticket reservations (fear not: you’ll be walked through the process).

An untraditional model, yes. But trust us: This is one film you’ll definitely want to evangelize.

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