In production – a feature length documentary film by Kate Mclarnon and Sky Neal.

A Satya Films / Postcode Films co-production

Supported by The BFI , Sundance Documentary Film ProgrammeWorldviewChicken and Egg Film FundFork Films, Bertha BRITDOC Connect Fund.

Even When I Fall tells the story of two remarkable young Nepali women, both survivors of child trafficking into corrupt big top circuses across India. They met in a Kathmandu refuge after they had been rescued and brought back to Nepal.  It is here that we begin our story – in the often overlooked aftermath of a childhood spent in captivity and forced labour. But their story is different…these young women were inadvertently left with a secret weapon by their captors – their breathtaking skills as circus artists…

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Even When I Fall traces the journey of Sheetal and Saraswoti as they work hard with 11 other survivors of human trafficking to build Circus Kathmandu – Nepal’s first and only circus, following their stories as they face the families that sold them and seek acceptance within their own communities.

With Circus Kathmandu they discover a new strength, pride and something more: a sense of responsibility that comes with the stage – to use the crowd’s attention to spread a message – to educate against trafficking. Quickly, their work grows to an international stage.  From the rich beauty of the Kathmandu Valley, through the dusty poverty-stricken border towns of the Terai plains, and finally to the bright lights of the famous Big Top at England’s spectacular Glastonbury Festival, the film witnesses two remarkable young women finding their confidence as performers and voices as campaigners in the face of stigma and adversity.

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Why is this film important?

Human trafficking is the world’s fastest growing criminal activity – Nepal’s national report estimates that 12000 women and children are trafficked to India every year and there are currently an estimated 100-200,000 trafficked Nepali people in India. Children are often sold by family members hoping to give their children a better life, or simply as a last resource to provide for the rest of their families. Returning from domestic servitude or circuses is highly stigmatized. The 7.8 magnitude earthquake that hit Nepal in April 2015 has further exacerbated this situation, and local NGOs have noted that human trafficking is already on the rise.

We’ve been working with Circus Kathmandu for the past 6 years and know we’re making a powerful and beautiful film that has a strongly participatory component. We want to tell a story of hope and change in a way that will be as magical to its audience as the most breathtaking circus performance. The film’s striking and exciting visual content will also be a platform of discussion on the many issues it raises including women’s empowerment, freedom of expression and education.

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Our hopes for Even When I Fall

This is a film about hopes, dreams and inspirational young people, who have challenged social stigma and their status quo. We are aiming for visibility at festivals and on television channels around the world and have already received interest from major international festivals.

Once finished the film will be a celebration of Circus Kathmandu and will become an advocacy tool for their work to educate against trafficking in vulnerable communities throughout Nepal.  It will also be a global platform and we envisage live action circus performances and film screenings- a unique platform to spread awareness and trigger vital conversations around the realities of human trafficking and modern day slavery.

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