“Waiting for Superman” director Davis Guggenheim has started shooting a feature-length documentary on 15-year-old Pakistani education activist Malala Yousafzai, with Walter Parkes and Laurie MacDonald producing.
Yousafzai survived an assassination attempt last October by the Taliban. She was shot in the neck and head when gunmen opened fire on her school bus in Pakistan’s Swat Valley after being targeted for speaking out for girls’ education in her community.
The project is being produced in association with and fully financed by Imagenation Abu Dhabi. Parkes and MacDonald have a long-standing partnership with Imagenation.
Yousafzai was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize, becoming the youngest such nominee in history. The United Nations and Gordon Brown, the organization’s special envoy for education, declared July 12, 2013 as “Malala Day” in support of her global education campaign.
The film will include her July 12 speech to the UN General Assembly, her first major public address since being shot.
“There are few stories Laurie and I have ever come across that are as compelling, urgent or important as the real-life struggle of Malala and her father Ziauddin on behalf of universal education for children,” Parkes said in a statement. “It is an honor and a privilege to be able to try to bring the lives of these extraordinary people to the screen.”
Producers are aiming for a theatrical release in late 2014 and have not made a distribution deal yet.
Yousafzai is represented by ICM Partners on behalf of Karolina Sutton at Curtis Brown.