The Himalayan Film Festival, in its second year, takes off this Friday in San Francisco at the Ninth Street Independent Film Center. The opening night feature is Kamlahari, a film from Nepal making its West Coast debut on Friday. Opening night also includes dinner from Curry without Worry.
In this region of Nepal, a country of deep contrasts, Christoph Schwaiger discovered the tragic fate of young Nepalese girls. Their families sell the little girls, called the Kamlahari, as slaves and they are sent off to work as housemaids for wealthy families. Deprived of a childhood, family and education, tradition condemns them to a life of servitude; sometimes as early as at the age of five. One voice rises above the crowd of thousands of enslaved girls: Urmila Chaudari, who has decided to fight these ancestral traditions.
The rest of the film festival takes place on Saturday in Berkeley and coincides with the Himalayan Fair. Profits from the event go toward sponsoring education for underprivileged students in the remote district of Humla, Nepal through Sahayeta.org, a Bay Area nonprofit.
Main image: Courtesy of the Himalayan Film Festival.