The story of
Yousafzai's tale is being captured by the Oscar-winning documentarian
Yousafzai is the Pakistani teenager who had campaigned heavily for women's rights and female education in the developing world, particularly in her native northwest region of Pakistan, where the
Guggenheim's film looks to tell both her personal story and the larger context of her work, with he and his crew spending the last 18 months with Yousafzai and her family.
The movie follows several other such efforts, including "Malala: A Girl From Paradise," an indie project, and a documentary featurette titled "Class Dismissed" by Adam Ellick that was produced by the New York Times. The effort by Guggenheim, who won an Oscar for his environmental cri de coeur "An Inconvenient Truth," is expected to be the most high-profile of the group.
Parkes-McDonald, the Hollywood production company behind the thematically related "The Kite Runner," is producing the movie, and nonprofit experts Participant Media and the Abu Dhabi film fund Image Nation are among the backers.
The acquisition marks a bit of a switch for Searchlight, which doesn't distribute many documentaries. But executives said they were moved by Yousafzai's story as well as by its larger effect.
"Malala's incredible journey is both heartbreaking and inspiring," Searchlight's co-presidents Steve Gilula and Nancy Utley said in a statement. "Her bravery in the face of adversity brought us to tears. The chance to bring her story to a global audience will be an honor for all of us here at Searchlight."