($12 for members)
April 22-25th, 2022
I am Belmaya
Nepal I 91 mins I Documentary I 2021 I Nepali w/
Nominated for 'Best Documentary' at the British Independent Film Awards
Shot over 5 years, I am Belmaya follows the life and early filmmaking career of Belmaya Nepali, an aspiring documentarian from Nepal.
Orphaned at age 9, Belmaya faced an unstable home life and discrimination due to her family status as 'low-caste' Dalits. She fell in love with photography at an orphanage in Pokhara, but had few opportunities to practice. Without a clear path forward, Belmaya found herself married and raising her first child, a daughter, in a restrictive home and social environment.
Years later, a filmmaking course offers Belmaya another chance to pursue the visual arts and she leaps at the opportunity. Determined to record and relay the stories of her community, she begins documenting the lives of girls and women like herself - seeking opportunity in education, work, and all stages of life.
"wonderfully engaging and unfettered"
"an uplifting tale of determination and passion"
About the Artist(s)
Born in a hill village near Pokhara, Belmaya Nepali had little formal education. As a child she often worked, cutting grass and collecting heavy firewood, and faced derision from some at her school.
Orphaned at the age of 9, she moved to a home in Pokhara where she was introduced to photography at 14. She’d grab the camera at every opportunity, participating in exhibitions at the British Council in Nepal and the Royal College of Art in London. Her work was included in a book, My World, My View.
In 2014, aged 21, she embarked on a documentary filmmaking training. Her graduation film, Educate Our Daughters, about the importance of education for girls, was selected for numerous film festivals. Belmaya has gone on to document the hardships of boatwomen in Pokhara, Rowing Against the Flow, for Thomson Reuters Foundation.
Sue Carpenter is a documentary filmmaker, writer, photographer, and co-director of the documentary, I Am Belmaya, which follows a young Nepali woman, Belmaya, whom she met in 2006, when teaching in Pokhara. Sue also became a producer of Belmaya's first documentary short, Educate Our Daughters, which was selected for 7 international festivals, triumphing at the UK Asian Film Festival 2019.
Sue is director of Tideturner Films, with the mission of making independent documentaries, particularly those that instigate social change and turn the tide on injustices against women. She is a keen supporter of her community and in 2019 completed the documentary, The Wonderful Walk, about the regeneration of Herne Hill Station Underpass and creation of a magnificent 40 metre mural.
Sue is a founder trustee of GlobalGirl Media UK, a charity that trains girls in digital media skills to change the male-dominated narrative in the media.