He Named Me Malala

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He Named Me Malala
He Named Me Malala Poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byDavis Guggenheim
Produced by
StarringMalala Yousafzai
CinematographyErich Roland
Edited by
  • Greg Finton, ACE
  • Brian Johnson
  • Brad Fuller
Music byThomas Newman
Distributed byFox Searchlight Pictures
National Geographic Channel[1]
Release dates
  • September 4, 2015 (2015-09-04) (Telluride)
  • October 2, 2015 (2015-10-02) (United States)
Running time
88 minutes[2]
  • United States
  • United Arab Emirates
Box office$2.7 million[3]

He Named Me Malala is a 2015 American documentary film directed by Davis Guggenheim. The film presents the young Pakistani female activist and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Malala Yousafzai, who has spoken out for the rights of girls, especially the right to education, since she was very young. The film also recounts how she survived and has become even more eloquent in her quest after being hunted down and shot by a Taliban gunman as part of the organization's violent opposition to girls' education in the Swat Valley in Pakistan. The title refers to the Afghani folk hero Malalai of Maiwand, after whom her father named her.

On December 1, 2015, He Named Me Malala was shortlisted with fourteen other documentaries submitted to the 88th Academy Awards in the Best Documentary Feature category, but failed to gain the nomination.[4] It was nominated at the 43rd Annie Awards in Best Animated Special Production category.[5]


Walter F. Parkes and Laurie MacDonald produced the film through Imagenation Abu Dhabi FZ along with Participant Media.[6]


Fox Searchlight Pictures acquired the US rights to the film on March 31, 2015, while StudioCanal would release the film in France.[7]

The film premiered at the Telluride Film Festival on September 4, 2015, and received a theatrical release in the United States on October 2.[8] On June 18, 2015, National Geographic announced they had acquired broadcasting rights to the film and will air the film in 171 countries in 45 languages.[9] In Pakistan, Geo News broadcast the film, which was dubbed in Urdu language by family of Yousafzai.[10][11]

Box office[edit]

He Named Me Malala opened theatrically in the United States on October 2, 2015 and earned $60,884 in its opening weekend, ranking number 43 in the United States box office.[12] The following week the film expanded from 4 to 446 screens, earning an estimated $685,000. As of October 25, 2015, the film's domestic total stands at $1,978,146. The film began its international rollout on October 22 in Germany where it grossed $29,880 fin 71 screens for a 25th place spot. It opened Austria a day later, where it debuted with $4,765 from 11 screens. As of October 25, 2015, the film's domestic total stands at $1,978,146 and the international total is $34,644,[13] giving the film a worldwide gross of $2,012,790.

Critical reception[edit]

The film received mixed to positive reviews from critics. On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has a rating of 71% based on 110 reviews, with an average rating of 6.6/10. The site's consensus reads, "He Named Me Malala spotlights a worthy subject, but without the focus her story deserves."[14] On Metacritic, the film has a score of 61 out of 100, based on 25 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[15] The film received two Women's Image Network Awards nominations, including Best Documentary and Best Producer.[16]


Award Category Recipient(s) Result Ref(s)
Annie Awards Best Animated Special Production Parkes-MacDonald / Little Door Won [17]
Outstanding Achievement, Production Design in an Animated Feature Production Jason Carpenter Nominated
British Academy Film Awards Best Documentary Davis Guggenheim, Laurie MacDonald and Walter Parkes Nominated [18]
Critics' Choice Awards Best Documentary - Feature Davis Guggenheim Nominated [19]
Golden Trailer Awards Best Documentary "Trailer 1" Won [20]
Primetime Creative Arts Emmy Awards Outstanding Directing for Nonfiction Programming Davis Guggenheim Nominated [21]
Outstanding Cinematography for Nonfiction Programming Sam Painter Nominated
Outstanding Picture Editing for Nonfiction Programming Greg Finton, Brian Johnson and Brad Fuller Nominated
Outstanding Production Design for a Variety, Nonfiction, Event, or Award Special He Named Me Malala Nominated
Outstanding Sound Editing for Nonfiction Programming (Single or Multi-Camera) He Named Me Malala Nominated
Outstanding Individual Achievement in Animation (Juried) Jason Carpenter Won
San Diego Film Festival Audience Choice Award Won [22]
Satellite Awards Best Documentary Film Davis Guggenheim Nominated [23]


The official soundtrack to the film was released digitally on September 25, 2015 and physically on October 30, 2015 by Sony Classical.[24][25]

1."A Pashtun Story"2:16
2."I Am Malala"2:24
3."Which Camera Now?"1:11
4."July 12"2:01
7."Old Life New Life"1:58
9."Cat Burglar"1:20
10."School v. Celebrity"1:44
13."Radio Mullah"2:29
14."A Fiery Speaker"2:41
16."Candies for Books"1:39
17."No More There"3:23
18."Peace Prize"1:04
20."The Women"0:55
22."Speak What Is in Your Soul"2:28
23."Grievous Injury"4:54
24."66 Million Girls"2:11
25."The Same Malala"0:45
26."Who Really I Am"1:21
Total length:53:20
  • Additional film music (not included on the official soundtrack)[26][27]
    • "Happiness" (traditional) - performed by Form IV Class of Kisaruni Secondary School 2014
    • "I Am Many" - written by Alicia Keys and Thomas Newman
    • "Story to Tell" - by Alicia Keys

Home media[edit]

He Named Me Malala was released on DVD on December 15, 2015.[28] The movie documents true events leading up to the Talibans attack on Malala for speaking out in support of educating girls in her region of Swat Valley in Pakistan. The movie was nominated at the 69th British Academy Film Awards for Best Documentary. It lost to Amy[29]


  1. ^ "National Geographic Channel Joins Fox Searchlight Pictures for Global Theatrical Release of the Highly Anticipated Feature Doc HE NAMED ME MALALA". Businesswire.com. Retrieved October 8, 2017.
  2. ^ "HE NAMED ME MALALA (PG)". British Board of Film Classification. October 6, 2015. Retrieved October 6, 2015.
  3. ^ "He Named Me Malala (2015)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved November 18, 2015.
  4. ^ Hilary Lewis (January 14, 2016). "Oscar Snubs: Ridley Scott, Aaron Sorkin, Steven Spielberg and More". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved February 11, 2016.
  5. ^ "43rd Annie Awards Nominees". Annie Awards. Retrieved December 16, 2015.
  6. ^ Gerard, Jeremy (March 30, 2015). "Fox Searchlight Picks Up 'He Named Me Malala' About Youngest Nobel Winner". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved April 6, 2015.
  7. ^ Cook, Cameron (March 30, 2015). "Fox Searchlight has acquired HE NAMED ME MALALA". foxsearchlight.com. Retrieved April 6, 2015.
  8. ^ "A powerful new documentary takes us deep inside the life of brave Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai". Business Insider. June 20, 2015. Retrieved June 20, 2015.
  9. ^ Busch, Anita (June 18, 2015). "National Geographic To Air Docu 'He Named Me Malala' Joining With Fox Searchlight". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved September 11, 2015.
  10. ^ "Geo News to broadcast 'He Named Me Malala' Urdu version". The News Pakistan. June 26, 2016.
  11. ^ "He Named Me Malala in Urdu". Jang. June 26, 2016.
  12. ^ "Weekend Box Office Results for October 2-4, 2015". Box Office Mojo. Internet Movie Database. October 5, 2015. Retrieved October 6, 2015.
  13. ^ "'He Named Me Malala' Foreign Gross". Box Office Mojo.
  14. ^ "He Named Me Malala". Rotten Tomatoes. Flixster. Retrieved October 9, 2015.
  15. ^ "He Named Me Malala reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved October 9, 2015.
  16. ^ "Fox Film and TV Receive Women's Image Award Nominations for Positive Portrayals of Women". 3BL Media - News and Content Distribution for Innovative Companies. 3blmedia.com. November 23, 2015. Retrieved December 7, 2015.
  17. ^ "43rd Annie Award Nominations Announced". ASIFA-Hollywood. ASIFA-Hollywood. Retrieved December 3, 2015.
  18. ^ "Bafta Film Awards 2016: Winners". BBC News. Retrieved February 15, 2016.
  19. ^ "Critics' Choice Awards Nominations: 'Mad Max' Leads Film; ABC, HBO, FX Networks & 'Fargo' Top TV". Deadline Hollywood. December 14, 2015. Retrieved December 14, 2015.
  20. ^ "The 17th Annual Golden Trailer Award Nominees". GoldenTrailer.com. Archived from the original on May 15, 2016. Retrieved October 27, 2016.
  21. ^ "Creative Arts Emmys: 'Murderer' & 'Grease Live' Lead The Field On Night 2". Deadline Hollywood. September 11, 2016. Retrieved September 12, 2016.
  22. ^ "San Diego Announces the 2015 Award Winners! | San Diego International Film Festival". October 20, 2015. Retrieved October 2, 2019.
  23. ^ "Satellite Awards (2015)". International Press Academy. IPA. December 2, 2015. pressacademy.com. Retrieved December 2, 2015.
  24. ^ "Sony Music To Release HE NAMED ME MALALA Original Motion Picture Soundtrack". PR Newswire. September 30, 2015.
  25. ^ "He Named Me Malala (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)". iTunes Store. Apple, Inc.
  26. ^ "He Named Me Malala (2015)". Soundtrack.Net.
  27. ^ "'He Named Me Malala' to Feature Original Song by Alicia Keys". Film Music Reporter.
  28. ^ "He Named Me Malala DVD". dvdsreleasedates.com. Retrieved December 16, 2015.
  29. ^ "Documentary on Malala Yousafzai nominated for 2016 BAFTAs". The Hindu. PTI. January 8, 2016. Retrieved January 9, 2016.

External links[edit]