2025 Broadcast Honors Submissions Now Open

Sonita Alizadeh, a teenage Afghan refugee living illegally in Iran and attending school at a children’s protection agency, wishes she were Rihanna and Michael Jackson’s lovechild and daydreams about becoming the next female rapper to emerge from the Middle East. But living in a culture that refuses her personhood, let alone the right to sing publicly, doesn’t make achieving those dreams easy. When she learns that her family is bent on marrying her off to the highest bidder, Sonita recruits director Rokhsareh Ghaem Maghami’s assistance and uses her voice to oppose her mother’s mandate, rapping verses that serve as a rallying cry with a ripple effect. Deeply layered and full of heart, this inspiring film is akin to a perfect rap song; it features a memorable hook and just enough freestyle to keep you guessing from verse to verse. (Full Frame)