Belmaya Post-Production funds

£13,810 of £20,000 goal

Raised by 38 people in 26 months

Belmaya, Nov 2016: 'Because of filmmaking, my inner strength has grown.' 

A story 10 years in the making, I Am Belmaya is a feature-length documentary about a remarkable young woman’s transformational journey into filmmaking in patriarchal Nepal. Taking the movie camera into her own hands, Belmaya stands up to oppression and takes charge of her story – and her life.
I Am Belmaya demonstrates the incredible power of storytelling to spark change. It reminds us that we can find inner strength to stand up to dominating forces and make our own choices.

Please help us to get Belmaya’s story out. You’ll be helping her to tell women’s stories, and in turn helping to transform more lives in Nepal.

CURRENT FUNDING NEED:  Editing and post production

In order to keep up the momentum for both my film and  Belmaya's career, we need to progress to the editing stage in early 2018.  For a top-class editor, we need approx £20,000, plus approx £5,000 for a translator / assistant editor.   Your contributions will be very gratefully received. Thank you.  (NB The first £9,000+ on the ladder has funded the final production trips to Nepal.)

How it all began, in 2006

This is very much a personal project for me.  I first met Belmaya in 2006, when she was 14 and living in a girls' home in Pokhara. After a childhood beset with tragedy and hardship, she was a star student of the photography project I led, My World My View. Through the viewfinder, she glimpsed a better life. But an unhappy marriage and further hardships ensued. 

Then, in 2014, Belmaya embarked on a filmmaking training, not just to learn skills but to take charge of her life. I Am Belmaya follows her on her path to empowerment, optimism and strength.  And success - Belmaya has triumphed by having both Educate Our Daughters and her second film Rowing Against The Flow, about boatwomen's struggles in Pokhara, selected for Kathmandu International Mountain Film Festival, December 2017. Attending the festival will be her crowning glory, and I will be there to film it.

Positive outcomes for Belmaya

‘I learnt to use my brain more because of filmmaking,’ she says. ‘If I stay in one place, it wouldn’t make a film, because you have to keep your eyes open all around you. So I applied what I learnt to my life.’ She looked at ways to change her own behaviour in an oppressive marriage, which enabled her husband to respond positively. 

In November 2016 Belmaya finished making her graduation film, Educate Our Daughters - the culmination of her training, a short documentary about the importance of education for girls, through the prism of her own lost childhood and her high hopes for her daughter, then 4 years old.

At the end of the trip, we travelled to Belmaya's childhood village in the foothills of the Himalayas, and created a pop-up cinema to screen Belmaya's film to her family, friends and neighbours. It was a magical evening, with Belmaya's family finally understanding and celebrating her mission to film and tell powerful stories of women's struggles and triumphs.

Social impact for girls in Nepal

With its themes of women's rights, standing up to domestic abuse, education for girls, and the transformational power of visual storytelling, I Am Belmaya will have real social impact beyond the film itself, inspiring and empowering other women to speak out against injustice and to dare to be ambitious.

In partnership with GlobalGirl Media UK and a local partner, Her Farm Films, we will train more Nepali women in digital media skills, to tell their stories from their point of view.

The mission of Her Farm Films (see video in Updates) echoes the subject of my film - putting girls behind the camera and mic, to tell women’s stories in the media, from their own persepective, in order to shift public attitudes. 

It is vital that I Am Belmaya and Educate Our Daughters continue to create ripples in society, sparking transformation. Help bring change to the old patriarchal society in Nepal! 

Huge, heartfelt thanks for your support for me,  Belmaya and girls in Nepal! 

Sue Carpenter
Tideturner Films
www.belmaya.com
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Dear friends and donors,

Great news for Belmaya - her first film, Educate Our Daughters, has just been selected for the prestigious Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival.

Belmaya has never been out of Nepal before, but we're trying to get her to Canada to present her film on 14 November. This will be the biggest moment of her life - getting on a plane, and then presenting her film on the international stage.

She's got her passport, applied for her visa, but we need help with the airfare and subsistence. It would be amazing if you could chip in. It's all part of the bigger picture, as I'll be filming her for I Am Belmaya!

Head over to this link to donate. Thank you so much!
https://www.gofundme.com/belmaya-travel-fund
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Exciting news for Belmaya. Her film, Educate Our Daughters, is in the official selection for Chicago South Asian Film Festival 2018. Imagine just what an amazing accolade that is for the young woman who barely had an education herself, and a few years ago couldn't have imagined she would be capable of making a film. She thought she'd reached the dizzy heights by being accepted into Kathmandu International Mountain Film Festival - a triumph indeed. But now, from a worldwide submission of films, hers has been selected for her first overseas festival - in competitive USA no less.

She and I have been invited to attend the red carpet premiere in Chicago, but sadly I think the expense is prohibitive. Unless a very kind benefactor wishes to step forward! When I Am Belmaya is released, then we'll paint the world red!
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Belmaya and I are beside ourselves with excitement! Not just one, but both of her short films, Educate Our Daughters and Rowing Against the Flow, have been selected for the Kathmandu International Mountain Film Festival (KIMFF) 2017. This is an amazing accolade for a first-time filmmaker, especially one who has had no advantages in life, and very little formal education.

I'll be flying over to film her as she presents her work at the festival, 14-18 December. I envisage this as the grand finale of my documentary!

Educate Our Daughters is a personal short film, exploring the status of girls in Nepal and why they get fewer opportunities than boys. Interweaving interviews with feisty students at the Sublime school in Pokhara, her own past story, and the high hopes she has for her daughter, Belmaya shows that girls can be a powerful force.

Rowing Against the Flow offers a glimpse into the lives of three Dalit women who are rowing against the flow of expectation in Pokhara, as they compete with men to earn a living by rowing tourists on Phewa Lake.

Huge congratulations, Belmaya!
Belmaya hears the good news via Skype
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If you've noticed a resounding silence from me in the past few months, it's because I've been feverishly filling in funding applications so that we can finish I Am Belmaya!

Meanwhile, Belmaya herself has had a couple of visitors from the UK. The first, India Roche, who was volunteering at a school near Pokhara, arranged a little screening of Belmaya's two films - Educate Our Daughters and Rowing Against the Tide (the film on boatwomen for Thomson Reuters Foundation). India reported that Belmaya was very pleased, and it was really good for her to witness an audience appreciating her work. Because, of course, when the production unit goes home, Belmaya doesn't have film clubs and like-minded peers to keep her enthused and motivated.

Not that her spirits have fallen, I'm pleased to note. Her second visitor was Tor Bridges, Programme Director of GlobalGirl Media UK, who found her in ebullient form, happy, full of enthusiasm and keen to do more film work.

Please keep spreading the word so that we can reach our goal and fund a hotshot editor, to turn I Am Belmaya into the dramatic, emotional and ultimately uplifting visual journey that it promises to be.

Thank you!
Belmaya, April 2017
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Read a Previous Update
Li-Da Kruger
24 months ago
1
1

Sue this is all wonderful stuff. Well done Belmaya! Well done you! x

+ Read More
Clothilde Redfern
24 months ago
1
1

Fantastic - this is really great news!

+ Read More

£13,810 of £20,000 goal

Raised by 38 people in 26 months
Created September 19, 2016
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Li-Da Kruger
24 months ago
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Sue this is all wonderful stuff. Well done Belmaya! Well done you! x

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Clothilde Redfern
24 months ago
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Fantastic - this is really great news!

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