We are happy to be able to share with our friends and supporters that Pushpa Basnet and the 48 children of incarcerated parents that she cares for are all safe after the devastating earthquake in Nepal last week. Pushpa and the children she cares for are the subjects of the short documentary film Waiting for Mamu, which Shine is proud to be attached to.
When the quake hit, they had to evacuate their home which was severely damaged and which they fear is now structurally unsound. They fled to a nearby field and Pushpa and some of the older children have created a shelter using the frame of a greenhouse, taping plastic around the sides to protect themselves. Speaking to CNN she said, “It’s really cold in the middle of the night; there are lots of fox in the field.” Though they are all scared, she is trying to stay positive telling CNN “I think for the time being, whatever we have, we should be happy, you know? Because at least we have our life” adding “(My kids) all are safe. That’s the most important thing for me.”
With the winnings from her CNN Award and support from viewers of the film, Pushpa had bought a piece of land to build a permanent “Butterfly Home” for the children at the Early Childhood Development Center (ECDC). Construction was almost complete and they had planned the opening ceremony for October of this year. “When the earthquake hit that land, all my dreams were scattered,” she told CNN. “I have to restart again.”
Donations can be made to Pushpa through the Utopia Foundation by clicking here – 100% of them will go to helping them recover from the earthquake and rebuild their home.
You can read more and see the video report from CNN here.
The ECDC Butterfly Home under construction in Nepal.
Demonstrating the power of film to transform children’s lives, Waiting For Mamu, the short documentary directed by Thomas Morgan and produced in association with Shine Global, has successfully raised enough funds for the Early Childhood Development Center (ECDC) to begin construction on a new home for the children featured in the film. If they are able to raise $227,000 more, the home will be finished in October!
The film tells the story of Pushpa Basnet as she rescues children from the floors of Nepal’s prisons where they’ve been sentenced with their parents when she is surprised by worldwide recognition as the 2012 CNN Hero of the year. The stigma of having parents in prison has made it difficult to find permanent housing for all of the children so the “Butterfly Home” is a long awaited solution. For the first 60 days the film was available online at mgo.com/mamu, all proceeds went to the construction of the home and going forward, all the filmmakers’ proceeds will be donated, so check out the beautiful story and know that you are also helping construct a home for these children in need.
Waiting for Mamu is now available to watch online on:
NEW YORK CITY, November 12, 2014 – As its first cause marketing initiative, M-GO, a premium transactional video on demand (VOD) service and joint venture between Technicolor and DreamWorks Animation, and Reframed Pictures, an independent production company, today announced the exclusive availability of the awarding winning Waiting for Mamu for rental or purchase on mgo.com. The short documentary film tells the story of Pushpa Basnet and children in Nepal that grow up incarcerated while their mothers serve prison sentences. Basnet, known as Mamu by the children, runs The Early Childhood Development Center (ECDC) that provides these children with an education and chance for stable futures. Shine Global is proud to have been involved with supporting this film.
“As a movie and television streaming platform, M-GO decided ‘filmanthropy’ is an important space where our company can contribute,” said M-GO Senior Vice President of Content Cameron Douglas. “We’re excited to partner with Reframed Pictures to support a film that carries such a strong message of social activism.”
To rent or buy Waiting for Mamu for as little as $2.99, visit www.mgo.com/mamu. As the exclusive platform for the film’s first 90 days, M-GO and Kinonation, a VOD cloud service, will donate every dollar spent directly to the ECDC.
“Reframed Pictures seeks to create and support media that is not only entertaining, but also inspires action,” said Waiting for Mamu Producer and Reframed Pictures Co-Founder Thomas Morgan. “Our partnership with M-GO will help raise both awareness and funds for the ECDC.”
The film’s executive producers, Susan Sarandon and Morgan Spurlock, will co-host a special screening of Waiting for Mamu along with Parabal Gurung and Basnet at the Rubin Museum in New York on November 12, 2014. The event will celebrate the ECDC’s work and generate awareness for the film’s release on mgo.com.
“Most people see an injustice, get upset, do a short-term something and move on. Because to do more would mean interrupting their lives,” said Susan Sarandon. “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. Her story is an important one that should be told and I’m honored to have had the opportunity to help make that possible.”
Later this month, Reframed Pictures will again team up with M-GO for Storied Streets, a film about homelessness in the United States, to complete the launch of M-GO’s first cause marketing initiative. Storied Streets will be screened on 750 university campuses across the U.S. on November 16 as part of National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week.
Outside of the US, the film is available to watch on Vimeo on Demand.
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
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.
Please join Prabal Gurung, Susan Sarandon, Shikshya Foundation Nepal, NEUEHOUSE, director/producer Thomas Morgan, and producer Angela Thomas in New York on March 12, 2014 for a special screening of the award winning short documentary Waiting for Mamu and a chance to meet the incredible Pushpa Basnet and support her work to ensure no child has to grow up behind prison walls.
Purchase tickets or make a donation here: