‘In Bloom’ Anthology Series Showcases Five Short Films Tackling Global Gender Issues

in bloom anthology

MTV Staying Alive Foundation, Paramount Global, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation have jointly announced the forthcoming release of “IN BLOOM,” an anthology of five impactful short films exploring gender complexities across various countries and cultures. The collection addresses crucial issues such as period poverty, child marriage, gender-based violence, HIV self-stigma, family planning, and women’s economic empowerment.

As part of the MTV Staying Alive Foundation’s mission and Paramount’s “Content For Change” initiative, the series brings together five emerging female filmmakers from Nigeria, Kenya, India, the US, and Brazil. The aim is to champion new voices and foster insightful conversations to dismantle systemic injustices, aligning with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal Number 5: Gender Equality.

Tope Oshin, the creative lead of “IN BLOOM” and a Nigerian TV & Film Director, expressed excitement about the project, stating, “In Bloom marks an exciting new phase in the work of MTV Staying Alive Foundation on gender equality.” The anthology is set to premiere on Paramount+ on March 1, coinciding with Women’s History Month and preceding International Women’s Day. It will also be available on Pluto TV globally and MTV international linear channels, with subsequent debuts on BET in Africa and YouTube in India and Africa.

Crystal Barnes, Executive Vice President of Corporate Social Responsibility and Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) at Paramount, emphasized the initiative’s commitment to amplifying underrepresented voices globally. She stated, “In Bloom does just that, by tackling critical, gender-based issues through the creative lens of dynamic female talents.”

The anthology features five short films, each with a unique storyline and cultural perspective:

Period | Written and directed by Nicole Teeny

Like many of her classmates at her underserved school, Fay cannot afford menstrual products, so she sets out on a crusade to get them for free. Genre: Comedy Drama, Language: English, Cast: Yasmina El-Abd

Alta | Written and directed by Priyanka Banerjee

A defiant teenager refusing to come out of the bathroom forces her helpless father to seek help to reason with the girl, but things take a turn when their true relationship is revealed. Genre: Drama, Language: Bengali, Cast: Mazel Vyas

Maré | Written and directed by Giuliana Monteiro

A mother on the edge of her sanity seeks solace from a tumultuous life situation. Genre: Drama/ Social-realism, Language: Portuguese, English, Cast: Vanessa Giácomo

Kifungo | Written and directed by Voline Ogutu

An ambitious romantic struggles with self-acceptance after finding out that she is HIV positive. Genre: Psychological Horror, Language: Swahili, English, Cast: Brenda Wairimu

Aféfé | Written and directed by Dolapo ‘LowlaDee’ Adeleke

When her elderly and ailing mother-in-law moves in unexpectedly, life for an impassioned local beautician takes a frightening turn. Genre: Drama, Language: Yoruba, Nigerian Pidgin, English, Cast: Folu Storms

Funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, “IN BLOOM” is produced by MTV Staying Alive Foundation and distributed globally by Paramount Global Content Distribution. Paramount will distribute rights free to third-party platforms through its Global Content Distribution arm to maximize the reach and impact of these essential stories.

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