To some Nepal as a country is like a thread, a thin strand of hair. But that thread is a fuse and when lit, India will explode, China will ignite,

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2 To some Nepal as a country is like a thread, a thin strand of hair. But that thread is a fuse and when lit, India will explode, China will ignite, and the whole world will detonate! Hisala Yami, Maoist woman leader speaking

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4 Nepal. On a map, it is easy to overlook between superpowers, China and India. Famed among mountain climbers as the home of Mount Everest; and Buddhist lovers for its proximity to Tibet, Nepal had a peace record that was centuries old, avoiding turmoil and remaining an independent nation.

5 War. Unfortunately, the past ten years have been an altogether different story. Just six years after a movement to bring about democracy, a political party known as the Maoists (rebels) officially began a People s War in Disillusioned villagers, farmers, and ethnic groups took up arms and began capturing weapons from local police posts and from the Army. They claimed to be fighting for an equal society, an updated, Nepali version of the communist republic. Over the course of 10 years, 15,000 people, on both sides were killed.

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7 Women Rebels. Forty percent of those who joined the Maoist ranks were women. Why did these women decide to join? What is the story behind the young face of a Nepali girl, holding an M-16, an AK-47 on her back? The answers we found, the stories we heard were poignantly raw, often startling in their cruelty. Yet the underlying the personal, came an overwhelming, overarching theme as to why these women decided to join: change.

8 Our Journey. Over the course of eight months, our team gained access to rebel training camps, held interviews with top leaders in the movement, as well as other experts from diverse backgrounds, and spoke with women who voluntarily left the ranks. In addition, we managed to acquire both archival and attack footage. But most importantly, we interviewed and followed the rebel women themselves. From them, we selected one woman to comprise the spine of our story.

9 Silu. Meet Silu: A Brigade Commissar in the People s Liberation Army, Nepal. Silu joined the rebels seven years ago, frustrated by the famine and poverty of her childhood. A former political prisoner, Silu dug a tunnel and managed to escape from jail two years ago. Despite being widowed by the movement, Silu still believes her choice was the right one. Through Silu and her personal narrative, the audience takes a journey through the struggles and controversies surrounding the rebel soldiers. Furthermore, Silu s story is intertwined with the historical and political context of the country. By doing so, we hope to create a balanced piece that promotes not only awareness but interest, investment on the part of the audience into this intimate story of Nepal.

10 Peace. As of November 2006, a peace treaty between the Maoists and the government was signed. The question of women like Silu remains. What will happen to them next as a result of the peace agreement? Will they end up back in the kitchen? Or get the equality that they initially claimed they were fighting for?

11 Objective. We aim to make a short documentary film that will raise awareness for international audiences via the festival circuit and public television distribution. Furthermore, we hope to use the piece as an advocacy tool for former women soldiers both during and after the November elections in Nepal. By telling little known stories, by using film as a measure for both advocacy and awareness, we hope to shed light on the battles fought internationally for a more humane world.

12 Production Team Biographies Robert Richter Executive Producer An incredibly accomplished multiple Academy Award nominee in the documentary short category, Robert s documentaries have been telecast in prime time on PBS, CBS, NBC, ABC, TBS, Discovery and many major overseas television outlets. Among dozens of titles are Guns and Greed, Crossing the Line, and School of Assassins (Academy nominee, 1994). Sanam Naraghi-Anderlini Gender Expert/Advisor Naraghi-Anderlini is one of the leading gender experts in her field. In Nepal she led a UNFPA/ UNDP needs assessment team into Maoist cantonment sites. Since 2005 she has provided strategic advice on gender mainstreaming to a range of the agencies including the UN s DPA, DPKO and the UK s DFID. Kiran Deol Co-Producer/Director A Harvard graduate ( 06) in English Literature Honors, Kiran Deol wrote an award winning senior thesis, Dalit the story of a young Nepali girl who joins the Maoist revolution, under acclaimed advisor/novelist, Jamaica Kincaid. Kiran has worked with Rapid Blue, a television production company in Johannesburg, where she wrote, directed, and edited spots for SABC. She was selected for the directing training program by the Emmy Academy out of 1,000 applicants after the viewing of her short film, Once Upon A Time. Cristina Malavenda Co-Producer A graduate of Vanderbilt University ( 06) in communications, Cristina Malavenda went on to attend the production program at the University of Southern California, with a special emphasis on producing. She has worked extensively on projects relating to women s rights in the past. Monica Rana Liason A Harvard graduate ( 06) in Economics Honors, Monica Rana is of Nepali origin, born and raised in Nepal. Monica was able to provide the initial logistical support necessary to launch the project. She currently works as an investment banker for Morgan Stanley in London. Lujaw Singh and Kamal Shrestha Cinematography Team Two of Nepal s leading professional cameramen, Lujaw and Kamal both worked for leading news organizations in the country before moving into freelance work including documentaries, music videos, and films. Saundarya Thapa Translator The in-field translator, Sundaria is a Nepali international student born and raised in Nepal, majoring in Women s Studies at Bryn Mawr University. Saundarya was first published in the nationally distributed Nepali Times newspaper at the age of fifteen.

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