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Forest Hymn for Little Girls, a feature-length documentary by award-winning videographer Sara Bonaventura, invites you to follow the exploits, struggles, and daring feats of young girls as they take to the woodland.  With the creative insight of this all-female team of artists, from winter-bundled toddling hikes to free-for-all frolics up a mud-thick hill, we'll get an intimate glimpse of where children play and what they do when given free rein in the wilds of nature.  Because it happens all the time - young girls grow old and the forest becomes a housing development.  One year in the life of our wild world, Forest Hymn for Little Girls allows us all to take a renewing breath before looking to a future for little girls who love the woodland.

Ultimately, Forest Hymn for Little Girls examines how young girls change when given the freedom to play in wildlands during their crucial early years.

Forest Hymn for Little Girls
​directed by Sara Bonaventura
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Forest Hymn aims to change the conversation around raising girls in our communities across the globe.  To make it happen, an international team of creative minds has united to share their talent.  Composers, illustrators, and animators are collaborating from thirteen countries.  We are honored to have so many female artists coming together to let little girls speak for themselves and their wild lands.

For whom do the wild lands sing? Forest Hymn for Little Girls – a celebration of transformation and adventure in wild lands. 

This documentary will remind the world of the power of wild spaces in young girls’ lives and the role of wild spaces in guiding young girls to be proactive citizens in healthy communities.


BeMyDelay (Italy)           Lau Nau (FI)

Carla Bozulich (US)        Patrizia Oliva (IT)

Dora Bleu (US)               Patrizia Mattioli (IT)

Gambletron (CAN)         Suzanne Langille (US)

lOlOl (IT)


Agota Krolak (PL)    

Alessandra De Cristofaro (IT)    

Alice Socal (IT/DE)             

Emanuela Bussolati (IT)

Arianna Papini (IT)    

Anna Emilia Laitinen (FI)          

Catarina Sobral (PO)           

Eva Volfova (CZ)

Clara Cebrian (ES)   

Corinne Zanette (IT)                

Cristina Pieropan (IT)            

Jenny Lucander (FI) 

Geena Forest (IT)      

Emmanuelle Tchoukriel (FR)       

Joanna Consejo (PL/FR)       

Kaori Takahashi (JP)

Milja Laine (FI)         

Sigute Chlebinskaite (LT)          

Silvia Pignat (IT)

Lina Zutaute (LT)        

Linnea Teljas-Puranen (SE)        

Livia Coloj (RO)                  

Maggie Umber (US)

Sarah Edmonds (UK)



Sara Bonaventura is an independent filmmaker and atelierista. She is intimately connected to the world-renowned Reggio Approach. Sara has worked as an educator in schools and museums such as Peggy Guggenheim, as atelierista for Reggio Children at the Loris Malaguzzi International Center, Ray of light Atelier/Digital Landscapes Atelier and in schools throughout Reggio Emilia.

Sara has been recognized for her experimental shorts and official video clips.  She won the Veneto Region Award at the 10th Lago Film Fest and was selected by Joan Jonas for an art residency at Funacion Boton. Her works have been screened in Italy and abroad, most recently at the Anthology Film Archives and Other Cinema in the San Francisco ATA Gallery. Examples of her work may be found here.



With creative collaboration between the girls, Sara Bonaventura and fellow animator Elisa Fabris, the girl's forest sketches will be put to motion and embedded in the film.  Each illustration, drawn by the gentle hands of a young child, reveals her distinctive vision of woodland play.


The girls of Forest Hymn call Raintree School, the only forest school in Missouri, their main wild stomping ground.  From two-years-old to kindergarten, Sara follows young girls through four seasons, day-in and day-out, as they explore the woodland.  With Sara's help, their powerful voices will be added to the global conversation of girls' needs, the rights of wild natural spaces, and finding a way to celebrate and preserve them both.

Three essential ingredients contribute to the creation of spaces that celebrate girls and their right to outdoor adventure and inquiry in natural spaces: active public participation, involvement of innovative thought leaders, and the safeguarding of our wildlands.  With your help, the powerfully visual storytelling and curious wild encounters of our young protagonists in Forest Hymn for Little Girls can spur action in schools and homes across the globe. Preserve our wild spaces for our girls.  Preserve wild girls for our future. After a month of fundraising, Forest Hymn for Little Girls reached it's Kickstarter campaign goal December 2016.  If you'd like to continue to support the film and help bring this film to a community near you, there are many ways to help.




Raintree School is positioned to tell it. The first forest school in Missouri, Raintree uses its forest campus as a backdrop for all the children do. Every week, young students toddle down the muddy cliff and into their woodland. They build forts, track mammals, collect wild edibles and use handsaws to fashion spears for fishing and bows and arrows for archery games.

Forest Hymn for Little Girls will halt the story of Red at the picking flowers part - before that thick-haired mammal took her as prey, before a burly woodsman came to her rescue. Follow the young girls of Raintree School as they head off the path ready for whatever they may encounter. Missouri is the hometown of nature kids’ greatest champion. It’s time the Show Me state contributed to making lasting change.


Through tactile video making, the documentary will intertwine analog filming with frame by frame animation of children’s forest art and found footage. Embracing chance with the planned, the film will stand as a montage of memory - a child’s memory of her time in the forest when she was very young.

MakingThe Film
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