Barbie Doesn’t Cut It for ‘Girl Rising’ Helmer

Robbins travel world to capture stories

Richard Robbins revealed at the March 7 preem of his doc “Girl Rising” that he’s not just an accomplished world traveler. He’s also an accomplished world shopper.

The helmer traveled to countries such as Peru, Egypt and India to bag footage for the new doc, which elucidates how education has lifted nine girls out of poverty and savage circumstances. It’s narrated by several actresses, including Meryl Streep and Anne Hathaway.

Capturing these girls’ stories was the filmmaker’s mission — but Robbins, father of an eight-year-old, had a secondary charge: bring one doll from each country home to his daughter. It was a task easy enough to handle, until …

“I was in Cambodia and I could not find a Cambodian doll anywhere,” he said at the CAA-hosted event. “It was driving me insane.”

It was the Documentary Group team’s first trip to Cambodia, and they only had half a day before they planed off for the next destination. Determined, Robbins started asking in the hotel, in the marketplace and on the street — everybody and everywhere, really — where to buy Cambodian dolls.

“I finally found this one store, and so I walk in,” he said, “and they’re selling Barbie! And I was like, that’s not what I’m looking for!”

But a Cambodian doll was eventually snagged, as well as one of the nine key stories that comprise the pic.

“I missed my daughter’s first day of first grade on that trip — so I had to get that doll,” he quipped.

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