I Am Belmaya (2021) with Director Q&A
Director Sue Carpenter will be joining after this remarkable documentary for a Q&A.
Sue was born in Fordingbridge and lived locally in Breamore until she was 17. She has been involved in Nepal and women’s rights for 20 years. A journalist and photographer, she first moved into filmmaking in 2013. I Am Belmaya is Sue’s first feature-length film; the film is an award-winning title that been selected for numerous international film festivals.
Dominated by her husband, family and society, Belmaya is desperate for independence. Born in a poor hill village in Nepal, a Dalit (the lowest, ‘untouchable’ caste), orphaned aged nine, and trapped in an abusive marriage with a baby daughter, Belmaya, at 21, has given up hope of finding happiness.
Rewind to 2006, when Belmaya, then a feisty teenager living in a girls’ home in Pokhara, participated in a photo project. Impassioned and inspired, she was eager to change her discriminatory world through photography. But that window closed when the home locked away her camera.
Now she gets a second chance, this time to train in documentary filmmaking. Picking up the camera once more, her maverick spark returns. Determined to create a better life for her young daughter, Belmaya gains the skills and confidence to forge a new path. She embarks on her graduation film about the importance of education for girls. But are her resentful husband and conservative community ready for this?
An inspirational tale of rebellion, courage and hope, shot over five years, as Belmaya battles to change her story and take charge of her life.