Women Rising Announces Fraidy Reiss As Next Documentary

Forced Marriage Survivor Turned Activist Against Child Marriage in the U.S. Grants Rights to Team Behind Award-Winning Lizzie Velasquez Documentary

Mar 08, 2016, 15:02 ET from Women Rising

AUSTIN, Texas, March 8, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Women Rising, the media and production company that produced the award-winning documentary A BRAVE HEART: THE LIZZIE VELASQUEZ STORY, has secured the rights and story of Fraidy Reiss, survivor turned activist against forced marriage and Founder of Unchained At Last. Following her directorial debut on A BRAVE HEART, Sara Hirsh Bordo will direct and produce.

Brooklyn-born Fraidy Reiss was 19 when her family arranged her marriage to a man who turned out to be violent. With no education or job and trapped for more than a decade, Fraidy became the first in her family to attend college; she graduated at 32 as valedictorian from Rutgers University, secured a divorce, and won full custody of her daughters. Fraidy went on to found Unchained At Last, the only U.S. non-profit helping women and girls escape or avoid forced and arranged marriages.  

"This is a pivotal moment in U.S. history, in terms of forced and child marriage. In the last few months, we at Unchained and our allies have seen legislation introduced in four states to end child marriage, and we will continue to work hard to ensure that other states join," said Fraidy Reiss.   "I have often received offers to tell my story – Sara showed me she understands the complex nature of forced and child marriage. I trust her completely."

Unchained At Last hopes to eliminate child marriage across the U.S. While 18 years old is the minimum age of marriage in most U.S. states, every state allows exceptions under which children are allowed to marry. Thousands of children, as young as 10, have been married recently under these exceptions.

"When I read Fraidy's NY Times OpEd, it brought forward an unspoken reality of child marriage that is happening in every state in the U.S.," said Sara Hirsh Bordo.  "I'm honored that Fraidy has chosen me to tell her story, which represents the stories of so many others across the globe, and holds up a mirror to what most Americans feel is only happening outside our borders."

Production on the UNTITLED FRAIDY REISS DOCUMENTARY is slated to begin Fall 2016.

Women Rising champions unique stories and creates memorable experiences that empower women and girls worldwide.


SOURCE Women Rising