No Child Grows Up Behind Prison Walls

In Waiting for Mamu, 28-year-old Pushpa Basnet struggles to provide a typical childhood for the more than 150 children she has rescued from the floors of Nepal’s prisons. Pushpa, or Mamu as she is called by the children, feeds, clothes, educates, and loves her children while struggling to pay rent and overcome the discrimination of landlords and neighbors when she is surprised by worldwide recognition as the 2012 CNN Hero of the year.

As one of the poorest countries in the world (according to UNICEF, 55% of the population lives below the international poverty line), Nepal has none of the social safety nets that exist in most western countries. When parents are sent to prison, there is nowhere for their children to go. Many enter prison at a young age with their parents and are released to the world at age 18, with no life skills or support system, knowing nothing of the world but what they experienced in a jail cell, creating a vicious cycle of poverty and crime. The film shares Pushpa’s passion to help and the story of what it means for a child to grow up in prison and yet find hope in unlikely places.


Most people see an injustice, get upset, do a short-term something and move on. Because to do more would mean interrupting their lives. Pushpa dared to forge a new path, against all odds, to give incarcerated children an education and a future. To give them love and build their self esteem. To give them hope. She does all this without any claim to their future. I believe she has taken the definition of mother to a new level. Her story is an important one that should be told and I’m honored to have had the opportunity to help make that possible.

Susan Sarandon, Executive Producer

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.

Morgan Spurlock, Executive Producer

broad_awarenessTedX Talk by Director Tom Morgan, Traverse City, MI 2013

communityM-GO, an online streaming service and a joint venture between Technicolor and DreamWorks, is donating profits from Waiting for Mamu sales in the first 60 days to help build the ECDC permanent shelter for the children Pushpa rescues.

Raised over $550,000 through October 2014 to build Pushpa’s Permanent Butterfly Home for the children she rescues. The home was opened in May 2016.


Audience Award Winner for Best Short Documentary at 2013 Traverse City Film Festival

Director’s Choice Best Humanitarian Film (documentary) at 2014 Sedona International Film Festival

Audience Award Winner for Best Documentary Short at 2014 Sedona International Film Festival

Jury Award Best Documentary at 2014 San Diego Film Festival

Audience Award Best Documentary at 2014 San Diego Film Festival

Official Selection Sarasota Film Festival 2014




Directed by
Thomas Morgan, Dan Chen, Francois Caillaud

Produced by
Thomas Morgan, Angela Bernhard Thomas, Ali Sandler

Executive Producers
Susan Sarandon, Morgan Spurlock, Jeremy Chilnick

Produced in Association with Shine Global