Malala Yousafzai inspires guests to ‘Be a child and dream as big as you can’

Malala Yousafzai, Pakistani teenager who was shot in the head by the Taliban after advocating for women’s rights, made her Hollywood debut at the premiere of Fox Searchlight’s documentary “He Named Me Malala” at New York’s Ziegfeld Theatre on Thursday

Flashing a big smile, Malala proudly walked down the red carpet with a delegation of girl leaders from developing nations by her side and remained unfazed by the glitz and glamour.

“People here tonight supporting me, my father and the film is the biggest honor,” Malala told Variety moments before the screening. “I’m hopeful this film will spread the message about how important it is for girls and for every child to have an education. We can all create change. I’m an ordinary girl no different than any other girl, but I choose not to be silent. I choose to speak up and raise my voice for equality. All of us can use our voices to fight for equality and education.”

Directed byDavis Guggenheim (“An Inconvenient Truth”), “He Named Me Malala” is a candid look inside Malala’s life and the relationship with her father, Ziauddin Yousafzai, a school teacher. He is the one responsible for instilling her passion for education and igniting a fire to fight against injustice.

“My father is one of my biggest inspirations,” said Malala, who turned 18 in July and lives in Birmingham, England with her parents and two younger brothers. “He is the one who taught me to stand up and to fight. Change matters and you have to continue to fight and to never give up.”

The film also chronicles not only the milestone moments in her life – such as becoming the youngest person to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize and speaking at the United Nations – but also her experiences at home with her brothers and at school.