In its last US festival appearance, the highly decorated film wins both the jury and audience prize
New York, NY–September 30, 2014. Produced and Directed by Thomas Morgan and Executive Producers Susan Sarandon and Morgan Spurlock, Waiting for Mamu has enjoyed quite a festival run over the past year, which culminated last weekend when it took both the audience and the jury prize in San Diego. Among other awards, it also claimed the Audience Award in Michael Moore’s Traverse City Film Festival as well as the Audience Award and Humanitarian Award at the Sedona International Film Festival. Morgan says this will be the last US festival screening as they prepare what he calls “the next exciting phase for the film.”
Waiting for Mamu tells the story of Pushpa Basnet, a young social work student in Kathmandu, Nepal, who has changed the lives of more than 100 children who had been incarcerated with their parents in a local prison. It was during a tour of the prison, as part of her course work, that Pushpa was shocked to see children sitting on the prison floors. The children had been incarcerated with their parents, which is typical when they lack another guardian. As she turned to leave, an 8-month-old girl tugged at her shawl. “Without saying a word, this little girl was saying ‘Don’t leave me,’” Pushpa recalled.
Less than a year later, at age 21, Puspha opened the Early Childhood Development Center (ECDC) and began taking the children out of the prisons across the country. She houses them, feeds them, sends them to school—she is their “Mamu,” which means mother in Nepalese. She has housed more than 100 children over nine years and has 50 children who live with her at the ECDC today.
Producer/Director Thomas Morgan met Pushpa by chance and knew he had to tell her story. The film is an unvarnished look at the difficult truths these children face and at Pushpa’s struggles and successes in changing their lives.
“It is an honor to receive both the jury and the audience award at the San Diego Film Festival capping off a fantastic festival run,” says Morgan “But our main focus remains on Pushpa’s organization and her children. Until we are able to use the power of this film to fund her new ‘Butterfly Home’ and give security to the lives of these children, everything else seems trivial.”
“I have had others that have come to me to make a documentary or to tell our story. They come and they go,” says Pushpa. “Thomas is the first that has come with the full intention of using our story to help our children, and for that I am forever grateful. He is my guardian angel– he has been MY Mamu.”
Actress Susan Sarandon and Filmmaker Morgan Spurlock (“Supersize Me,” CNN’s “Inside Man) served as Executive Producers on Waiting for Mamu, which was produced in association with Shine Global.
“One of the most beautiful and hopeful stories I’ve ever seen. From the moment Thomas first told me about the project, I knew I had to do anything I could to help him get it made,” said Spurlock.
Susan Sarandon and Thomas Morgan founded Reframed Pictures earlier this year and recently welcomed Alexandra Dean and Adam Haggiag to the team. Though he wouldn’t give details of what was next he stated, “Our team and partners are working very hard on the next stages for this film. It will be unlike anything you have seen before and will allow us to meet all of the goals we have for the film.”
For more information go to www.waitingformamu.com.
Reframed Pictures Staff