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Africa: ‘Get together girls’ 0

There’s a woman, a long journey, a love story and, given the difficulty of the challenge, there might also be some praying involved in the adventure told by ‘Get together girls’ the new independent documentary directed by Italian filmmaker Vanessa Crocini.

But the protagonist of ‘Get together girls’, Grace Orsolato, hasn’t had much time to taste exotic food or meditate. As a matter of fact her story has nothing to do with Elizabeth Gilbert’s self-indulgent memoir, Eat, Pray, Love. There’s no Javier Bardem in her love story but a continent and a group of girls that captured her heart and soul.

Crocini, 29 had been to Africa before, working as an assistant director for the documentary ‘The consul list’ which was shot in Rwanda in 2010 and was looking for a good opportunity to go back there. When she heard Grace’s story from a member of the Italian NGO Amani Onlus, she understood that the opportunity had finally arrived.

Crocini went back to Africa, this time to Kenya, to tell the story of six Kenyan former street girls who are now fashion designers thanks to the G2G project, the tailoring workshop created by Grace Orsolato, an Italian woman who left her steady administrative job at the well established firm Pirelli to give these young women an opportunity for their future.

Orsolato first met the girls in 2002 while she was volunteering at Anita’s Home, a center managed by Amani Onlus, where the girls had moved after being rescued from the streets. After that first experience, she went back to the center every summer and became the volunteer coordinator.

In 2009 she decided to start this project in order to create a job opportunity to prevent girls from going back to the streets after their high school years, since the job opportunities in Africa are so few, especially for women. “I decided to tell this story because it’s a beautiful example of a project that can really help young women to improve the quality of their life by becoming self-reliant” says Crocini who spent an entire month with Grace and the girls at Anita’s Home, following their everyday life.

“I wanted to be as unobtrusive as possible so I decided not to have a crew and I went there by myself. During the first week I didn’t shoot anything. I just spent time with Grace and the girls and carried my camera everywhere even though it was off, because I wanted them to get used to it. I have to say that I’ve built an amazing relationship with Grace and the girls.”

The documentary was produced by Cinerentola, 2503 Production and supported by the Italian rock star Vasco Rossi, but in order to raise funds to finance her project Crocini also relied on more creative fundraising methods: she opened an account on the crowd funding website Indiegogo which helped her raise about 3.700 dollars and organized fundraising events, such as the pizza night she held at her house in Los Angeles, where she currently lives.

“I invited all my friends and that night we raised 1600 dollars. One of the best things of this experience is seeing my friends’ support”. The postproduction of the documentary will be finished by the end of the summer and Get together girls’ will be submitted to some of the most important film festivals around the world.

Crocini also intends to organize screenings of the documentary in schools: “The aim of the documentary is spreading awareness about the conditions in which many people are still forced to live, but this is also a story of hope that can inspire people to take action, for this reason it should be heard and seen especially by teenagers and young people.”

By  Ottavia SpaggiariVita Europe

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