Common Sense Media Honors Cinedigm's A Brave Heart: The Lizzie Velazquez Story and Participant Media and Fox Searchlight's He Named Me Malala with the Common Sense Seal

Both films are powerful documentaries about two incredible role models who are sure to inspire tweens and teens.

Common Sense Media
Friday, September 25, 2015

San Francisco, Calif. – Common Sense Media, the nation's leading nonprofit organization dedicated to helping kids and families thrive in a world of media and technology, has honored Cinedigm's A Brave Heart: The Lizzie Velazquez Story and Participant Media and Fox Searchlight's He Named Me Malala as the next two films to receive the Common Sense Seal. The Common Sense Seal recognizes movies with the potential to have a significant impact on kids and families.

In theaters on September 25, 2015, A Brave Heart: The Lizzie Velazquez Story tells the inspiring yet intense story of the film's namesake, Lizzie Velazquez, who was born with a rare condition preventing her from gaining weight. Despite many health issues and her unique appearance, Velazquez grew up fairly normally -- that is, until she discovered a YouTube video about her titled "The World's Ugliest Woman." Lizzie responds with strength and courage, inspiring millions with her message -- "embrace who you are" -- and support of anti-bullying laws.

Opening in select theaters October 2, 2015, He Named Me Malala follows the unequivocally brave activist Malala Yousafzai in the months leading up to her receiving the Nobel Peace Price at the age of 17. In 2012, Malala was shot by the Pakistani Taliban in an effort to silence her; instead, her experience and international fame have given her a louder voice for advocating for all girls' right to an education. Though the film has some disturbing moments, it is sure to inspire teens and tweens by telling Malala's story both as a hero and a relatable teenager.

"We don't see enough great movies with positive role models and messages that make parents feel like a trip to the movies is time well spent together -- and we think families deserve better," said Jim Steyer, founder and CEO of Common Sense. "The Common Sense Seal recognizes the best in family movies to inspire studios to create more excellent family content. Both of these films are perfect examples of movies we know families will enjoy together."

The Common Sense Seal launched in 2014 as the first honor of its kind to recognize standout movies that are positive for kids and families as they make their debuts. The films that receive this recognition meet Common Sense Media's highest standard for great family movies based on overall quality and the potential to have a significant impact on kids and families through worthwhile themes, positive messages, and role models.

The Seal considers all movies (theatrical releases, direct-to-DVD and streaming titles, and so on) targeted at children, tweens, teens, and families. The selections are determined by Common Sense Media's in-house team of seasoned movie reviewers, editors, and child-development experts based on the proven rubric deployed across more than 6,000 movie titles since Common Sense Media's founding in 2003. The seal is given to a select number of films each year and announced in advance of each movie's release.

These two recipients bring to 20 the total number of films that have received the Common Sense Seal since it was launched in 2014. A comprehensive list of all Seal recipients and their reviews can be found at

About Common Sense Media's Movie Ratings
Common Sense Media rates and reviews movies based on two factors: age-appropriateness and quality. We rely on developmental guidelines culled from some of the nation's leading authorities to determine which content is appropriate for which ages. Common Sense Media movie reviews feature a content grid that evaluates specific elements of each movie, including messages, role models, violence/scariness, sex, language, consumerism, and substance use. We know every family and every child is different, but all families need information to make great media choices. Common Sense Media movie reviews also include suggested discussion points for families, providing an opportunity for parents to talk about themes and issues that arise and to convey their own views and values. Common Sense Media movie ratings and reviews are available on our website, through our mobile app, and through our distribution partners. Our unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and are not influenced by the content creators or our funders.

About Common Sense
Common Sense is the nation's leading nonprofit organization dedicated to helping families and educators thrive in a world of media and technology. We rate, educate, and advocate on behalf of kids, families, and schools. Common Sense offers the world's largest and most trusted library of age-based ratings and reviews of all types of media content targeted at kids, and our research-based curriculum and tools are used in over 90,000 U.S. schools. For more information, go to

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