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If we could share one story with our struggling middle school selves, it would have to be Shatterbox Anthology's Khethiwe and the Leopard. Directed by Pamela Romanowsky, the fresh voice behind Watching You, Watching Me, this intimately surreal portrait captures the challenges faced by a young girl navigating early adolescence (with a little help from a local leopard, naturally). Set against South Africa's verdant landscape, Khethiwe and the Leopard builds an imaginative universe in which children use their inherent curiosity to nurture a more empathetic understanding of the world — a quality often sacrificed to the burdens of adulthood.
Romanowsky isn't alone in her advocacy for more narratives that speak to the diverse experiences of young girls across the globe. Created in partnership with DOVE® Chocolate, Khethiwe and the Leopard epitomizes the company's dedication to spotlighting and celebrating the work of emerging female visionaries. As Romanowsky summarizes, "I'm very proud to be working with DOVE® and Refinery29, two organizations committed to improving communities through the empowerment of women. For an emerging filmmaker, their unwavering support of vision and expression means everything. They provide the freedom to celebrate the intrepid spirit and explore places and points of view that we don't often see on screen."
Refinery29 couldn't be prouder to work with Romanowsky and DOVE® Chocolate to support courageous, woman-driven storytelling like Khethiwe and the Leopard. Catch the film above.
Just 7% of 2016's top films were directed by women. Refinery29 wants to change this by giving 12 female directors a chance to claim their power. Our message to Hollywood? You can't win without women. Watch new films every month on Refinery29.com/Shatterbox and Comcast Watchable.