Maya : a stunning short film with as much heart and optimism as the children it represents…
The 15 minute short centres around Maya (Ashmita Tamang), Kancha (Aakash Malla) and Bikram (Suraj Tamang) who run away from slave traders only to find themselves in just as much danger out on the streets of Kathmandu. On their own with no food, no money and no shelter, the kids struggle to survive and most of all, to remain hopeful.
The trio spend most of the film just travelling and looking for the next place to rest their head. They get by stealing what they need to survive — nothing more. They don’t ask for very much either; just shelter, a return to their families, and as Bikham so humorously puts it, “a beautiful wife”.
Even though they are forced to grow up fast, they still think and dream about all the same things any kid would. In between thoughts of where their next meal is coming from, their minds drift innocently off to crushes and street games. It serves as a painful reminder that they are still children, much too young to endure such terrible hardships.
Maya was written by Tayo Odesanya, directed by Veemsen Lama and produced by Tom Cullingham. Based on true events, the short film was inspired by Nepalese kids Veemsen Lama saw sleeping on the pavement years ago.
With over 1500 kids still living on the streets in Kathmandu alone, I wanted to do something to raise awareness and make a difference.”
Maya was shot over two weeks on the streets of Nepal, shortly before the earthquake hit and made many more children as vulnerable as those depicted in this film. On top of gaining industry attention, Maya has been used to raise proceeds and give back to the people and communities that so graciously helped make the film in the first place.
Aside from raising $3400 with the trailer alone, the finished product is equally impressive! Gorgeously shot and graded, with each upcoming scene better than the last. Heart-warming performances from the young lead actors, whose portrayal shows wisdom far beyond their years. Highly recommended!
In case you missed its world premiere at Raindance Film Festival, you can catch Maya as part of the upcoming London Short Film Festival in January. Details here.
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