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I Am Belmaya

Born a Dalit (the lowest, ‘untouchable’ caste) in Nepal, and orphaned at the age of nine, 21-year-old Belmaya has given up hope of finding happiness.

As a teenager she had participated in a photography project at a girls’ home in Pokhara. Impassioned and inspired, she was keen 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.

I Am Belmaya is an extraordinarily intimate window into Belmaya’s world, giving an insight into the brutality of life for many girls and women in Nepal, and showing her determination to challenge social norms and transcend the life she was born into. The result is a rich portrait, interweaving observational material with footage shot by Belmaya, and challenging the traditional roles of director/subject, as she becomes co-director of her own story.

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