Fox Searchlight Acquires Malala Yousafzai Doc

Malala Yousafzai, Davis Guggenheim
Bob Richman

Davis Guggenheim's 'He Named Me Malala' offers an "intimate portrait" of the 17-year-old Pakistani child activist and Nobel Peace Prize winner.

Davis Guggenheim's documentary about renowned Pakistani child activist Malala Yousafzai has found a home.

Fox Searchlight Pictures announced Monday it had acquired worldwide rights — with the exception of France, which StudioCanal is looking after — to He Named Me Malala.

The doc — produced by Walter Parkes and Laurie MacDonald under their long-term production partnership with Image Nation Abu Dhabi, and co-financed by Participant Media — offers an "intimate portrait" of 17-year-old Yousafzai, who since being shot and wounded by the Taliban in 2012 has become a leading campaigner for children's rights and women's education. Last year she became the youngest-ever recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize.

"Malala's incredible journey is both heartbreaking and inspiring. 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," said Fox Searchlight presidents Stephen Gilula and Nancy Utley.

"Spending the last 18 months with Malala, her father Ziauddin and their family has been one of the great experiences of my life," added Guggenheim, director of 2007's Oscar-winning An Inconvenient Truth. "Now that Fox Searchlight is joining Image Nation and Participant Media, we have the opportunity to share their moving story with the world."

"This project has been an incredible journey, and we’re now pleased to be joined by Fox Searchlight Pictures, whose expertise will help ensure the film reaches as many people as possible with its inspiring message," said Mohamed Al Mubarak, chairman of Image Nation Abu Dhabi.

He Named Me Malala will also launch an international advocacy and fundraising campaign in partnership with the Malala Fund, Yousafzai’s nonprofit organization working to empower adolescent girls globally through a quality secondary education.