Girl Rising

Girl Rising

Sierra Leone Chapter

2013 • CNN Films
Dir. Richard E. Robbins

We directed and animated a short film that’s part of Girl Rising, a feature documentary by Richard E. Robbins.

Jenny traveled to Freetown, Sierra Leone with Robbins and producer Gina Nemirofsky to meet and film 16-year-old Mariama. Back in L.A., our team hand-traced 4,000+ photos and created animations to bring to life the short story written by Aminatta Forna. Voice-over was provided by Selena Gomez.

Meet Mariama. She’s 16, born and raised in Freetown, Sierra Leone. Even though she entered the world in the midst of a civil war, she’s just like your average teen. She likes to text, loves science, and hosts a teen radio show.

For some behind-the-scenes, click here.
For even more behind-the-scenes, there’s a travel journal here.

Girl Rising is a touching documentary that captures the unique lives of nine special girls in Cambodia, Haiti, Nepal, Egypt, Ethiopia, India, Peru, Sierra Leone, and Afghanistan. Their stories were written by a female writer from their respective countries and captured on film through visual poetry, animation, and narrative dramatizations. The film was released theatrically by Gathr and Regal Cinemas, and aired on CNN.

For more information visit

Stylistically Related:
JunoThe ClapperSons of TucsonSplitting Up Together