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Cate Blanchett lends her voice to touching doco

Cate Blanchett and Meryl Streep will join a host of stars to voice a documentary called Girl Rising - about the struggle of nine girls who want an education.

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Actor Freida Pinto introduced the documentary, Girl Rising during the 2013 Sundance Film Festival on Monday in Park City, Utah during which she shared these powerful statistics: There are 66 million girls who are not in school; 14 million girls under 18 who will be married this year; and 150 million girls are victims of sexual violence each year. 

Pinto, who along with Meryl Streep, Anne Hathaway, Salma Hayek, Cate Blanchett and Kerry Washington, is one of the narrators of the inspiring film, which aims to promote the value of education for girls in the developing world. 

Director Richard Robbins showed about 10 minutes of the movie at Sundance even though he still has a few weeks of post-production work to do on the project.

The film tells the stories of nine girls from different developing countries - including Cambodia, Haiti, India and Afghanistan - and shows how access to education would change their lives.

Robbins, who works as a writer for TV's Scandal, said he had hoped to finish the film in time to compete or premiere at Sundance, but after visiting 10 countries in 12 months gathering footage, he just couldn't make it in time. Still, he wanted to generate interest in the film.

"No one is more vulnerable than an uneducated girl," said Pinto, who is active with the 10x10 organisation behind the film and its campaign to educate girls worldwide. "Making a girl aware of her fundamental human rights through education can change all that."

Girls who are educated marry later, have fewer and healthier children, achieve self-sufficiency and continue the cycle of education with their own children, Pinto said.

"If you educate girls, you will change the world," she said.

Filming the documentary <i>Girl Rising</i>.

Filming the documentary Girl Rising.

According to the website, the movie 'spotlights the strength of the human spirit and the power of education to change a girl – and the world. Many millions of girls face barriers to education that boys do not. We can help break those barriers by bringing global attention to the enormous benefits of educating girls. Your community is a great place to start.'

The movie is slated for release on International Women's Day March 7. But if you hop on the website 10x10act.org you can find out more information as well as ways to contribute.