In January, Justin Barker had no idea he would be helping start a film festival, let alone one that would premiere just four months later.
Instead, he was sitting in a cafe in Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal when he overheard what he thought was a California accent. Soon he was bonding with two California transplants in Nepal - Kendra Caprece, who was working for a women's justice organization, and Bev Hoffman, who ran a human rights festival.
"We thought film would be a great way to kind of bring the Himalayas to the Bay Area, so people can actually see what's going on in the region," Barker said.
- San Francisco Chronicle 2013
From Eric Valli's "Himalayan Gold Rush"
2014 // Visit the 2014 Festival Website
The Himalayan Film Festival, in its second year, takes off this Friday in San Francisco at the Ninth Street Independent Film Center. The opening night feature is Kamlahari, a film from Nepal making its West Coast debut on Friday. The rest of the film festival takes place on Saturday in Berkeley and coincides with the Himalayan Fair. Profits from the event go toward sponsoring education for underprivileged students in the remote district of Humla, Nepal through Sahayeta.org, a Bay Area nonprofit.
---Center of Asian American Media Blog
2015 // Visit the 2015 Festival Website
When the San Francisco Himalayan Film Festival kicks off Friday at the 9th Street Independent Film Center, many of those profiled on screen will still be coping with disaster. On Saturday, a catastrophic magnitude 7.9 earthquake rocked Nepal, more than 4,600 people dead and 9,000 injured, including a small handful of visitors from the Bay Area who were trekking up Mount Everest. Casualties continue to mount. Nearly ten million people have been impacted – more than a third of the country – and large sections of the capital, Kathmandu, are in ruins. It’s a devastating blow to the developing country, which ranks among the world’s poorest.
--KALW San Francisco Public Radio.