Deep in rural Nepal, a group of childhood friends from low-caste families have started a trekking guide social enterprise that has transformed their home community of Kumari. Led by Jagat Lama, the guides have channeled their profits and energy into developing a self-sustaining community centered around many of the region’s firsts: basic electricity, a women’s skill center, a local school, a working community farm and a medical hospital.
Jagat is driven by a promise he made to his dying father to bring medical care to the village. At the grand opening celebration, Jagat’s mother is the first patient of many in the Sukman Memorial Polyclinic, named after his father.
Less than 2 years later, a massive earthquake hits Nepal, leveling the hospital, school and women’s skill center. Because Kumari is so remote, Jagat and the other trekking guides respond with aid, food and shelter. Wrestling with the continued challenges, Jagat digs deep and finds the strength to help lead the Kumari recovery. The village is rebuilt stronger than before as the guides turn their focus to the next generation of leaders to continue their vision of self-sustained growth and empowerment.
A heartfelt story of the human spirit creating a better world and then being interrupted by a natural disaster. The filmmakers take the courageous step of returning to the location and rewriting the story to acknowledge the aftermath of the devastation. The result is yet more effective at showing the power of community and resilience.
– Michael Brown, VIMFF 2023 Jury
Sean is an award-winning visual storyteller, passionate media educator, internationally published photographer and honored contributor to a Northwest Regional Emmy Award. Since 2002 his creative work has been dedicated to creating socially responsible stories and educating others in the art of visual storytelling. Collaborating with dynamic nonprofits and leading industry brands, Sean works to cultivate global relationships with social and environmental impact. His credits include contributions to national broadcast television and international film festivals as well as print and web photography publications with Smithsonian Magazine, Outside Magazine, High Country News and others. Sean works with youth and adult learners and creates dynamic and exciting learning environments and has taught over 1,000 students. He lives in the Columbia River Gorge of Oregon with his wife and two children. In his spare time, Sean is in pursuit of wilderness experiences, silent moments, and positive interactions with new faces.
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