Short films by and for women. Not only are the women of Her Farm Films working in commercial photography and film, recently two of our students, both young women who live in the village made a socially relevant short film about the life of a local woman. Their first ever effort in creating such a film is quite remarkable. Proving yet again the ability of rural women to create visual art.
What's needed to scale up this program?
What is needed to take this work to scale and reach hundreds of women is a centralized training facility. The studio at Her Farm (more about Her Farm here) is too far a distance from the commercial center and with no vehicles or transportation, women simply cannot easily reach Her Farm Films studio for training. In the capital city of Kathmandu, we have land where a training facility will be accessible to all.
Visual Arts School of 21st Century Skills
Women owned and operated by Her Farm Films
We will build a studio and training facility where women can learn photography, filmmaking and how to produce podcasts, a growing market in Kathmandu as well as prepare these women to operate a photography and filmmaking business. We have an ideal location that we already own, ready to build on.
Program participants can gain practical, on the job experience by assisting in the 40 or more assignments Her Farm Films has every year to film events, photograph and film weddings. In order to attract women to this field and to satisfy their parents concerns it is necessary to offer a small internship salary while they are in training. One hundred US dollars per month ensures they will work with dedication and graduate in six months to working as part of the regular Her Farm Films, all-women team and the income earned from our current work can support these internship costs.
With comprehensive training, practical experience in the field, women will be able to obtain employment that pays well. In a country with a per capita income of less than $1000/year, the women of Her Farm Films earn between $100 and $150 US dollars per day filming and photographing. Everyone of the Her Farm Films women is earning above the countries per capita income and garnering tremendous respect.
We can double the number of women employed in 2020, we currently have more offers for work than our current staff can manage.
Human Resources. Our existing team of educated and trained young women will be the instructors. Sushila Aryal, for example is thirty years old, with 5 years direct experience on air in radio, a Master Degree in Sociology and currently is pursuing a law degree as well. Sushila, in addition to her radio experience is a skilled editor with Final Cut and Logic Pro, an excellent portrait photographer and filmmaker. Our team of six such women will manage the classroom.
From training to jobs
There are dozens of community based events, festivals, singing contests and etc. that take place in the nearby villages providing opportunity for film and still photography.
The business community in Nepal is just waking up to internet and social media advertising and the demand for quality photography of all kinds; products, scenery, adventure activities and more is on the rise daily. Likewise, these same business users are hungry for video that helps sell their programs and products.
The financial support for Her Farm and Her Farm films has thus far come from The Global Mountain Fund, a US 501c3 charitable organization founded by Scott MacLennan, who is the husband of Sunita Subedi Sharma, the founder and matriarch of Her Farm. Sunita was recently named the World Experiences Foundation's Global Citizen Award recipient and received as well a citation from the House of Representatives of the State of New Mexico. Learn more at www.MountainFund.org
Scott, with a long career in business and a photographer for the past 40+ years can assist the graduates in preparing resumes and business plans should they wish to pursue employment with other commercial photography studios or start their own business and Sunita, as a former popular actor in Nepal will help prepare them with coaching on public speaking. Scott has lived and worked in Nepal for over a decade and was awarded the Sir Edmund Hillary Mountain Legacy Medal in 2010 for his work in Nepal.
What's it take to make this all happen?
First and foremost a space to train from. We have the land, we have the Human Resources, but no central facility to train and produce from. We estimate a fully finished facility from which more women can be trained to cost between $10,000 and $15,000 US dollars. We have have the cameras, lights, microphones etc. It's a ripe and ready endeavor that will create clean, well-paid jobs and change the societal views about the capabilities of women.