News about the release date of ‘Mira Rai’ is included below but first, an insight into a special chapter in the making of this film.
This short clip provides a glimpse into a very special moment as Mira returned home to her mountain village after moving to Kathmandu & tells her family about the running adventures she has been on overseas. It was a moment where as a film-maker, you just hold your breath, steady the camera & know that something special is taking place. The sense of pride from the family was very touching. What follows is an insight into a chapter of the filming of ‘Mira Rai.
The journey home
After a flight out of a stormy Kathmandu in late February, we landed in Bhojpur and endured a restless night in a mosquito infested hostel that we found was the only place that still had rooms available. After searching around town late at night from a rickshaw, we were grateful to have a roof over our heads. In the morning we squeezed into a van packed with folk heading to the market in a nearby town to try and book a jeep that would take us on a 7 hours journey to the mountains where Mira grew up. Thankfully, Mira is as focused at negotiating and bargaining as she is on the mountain trails, and so we agreed the amount with a driver & set off for the Bhojpur mountains. The long journey was brought to life with a sighting of a beautiful King Cobra that children were carefully following. Sure beats wasting childhood hours on Facebook and Playstation.
After 7 hours, the jeep could not go any further due to the difficult terrain & so we jumped out & put filming gear on our backs and set off on the remaining two hours hike over the mountain pass towards Mira’s home. As we passed through the first village, I had an insight into why Mira is so comfortable in the mountains.
A young boy (about 10 yrs) offered to carry one of my camera equipment bags (10kg) for the remaining two hours journey over the mountain. This is normal and Mira told me she would carry rice and water over longer distances as a child. And so the three of us made good speed for Mira’s village where we were greeted first by Mira’s father on the last hill overlooking Mira’s home and then we were welcomed by the rest of the family.
Mira grew up without electricity at home and so solar boxes provided light for tasks once the sun went down. This meant that I had to be careful with battery usage for the cameras and the drone. It was refreshing to be disconnected from the outside world and to be woken by the rooster outside the hut I slept in that also sheltered a cow and some pigs.
I knew that something magic was happening. To capture Mira’s home life and an insight into her upbringing and the mountainous terrain that she calls home was something special. During the time spent there, I filmed Mira running on trails she should travel on as a child to fetch water and rice. Mira spoke on camera about her childhood and I filmed her family go about their daily lives. I was touched by the rich hospitality from those who have little & yet are willing to share so much.
Release Update – June 2015
It has been a huge amount of work wading through all the footage from filming in Nepal, Hong Kong & Australia. We set out to capture an authentic narrative and so most of the footage is in Nepali. Post production of Mira Rai is in full flow and here is the release timeline:
‘Mira Rai follows the journey of a spirited Nepali village girl on her pursuit to being a world-recognised mountain runner. Growing up in a remote village in Nepal, Mira always dreamed of being successful in sport. When she was older she travelled the long distance to Kathmandu to try her luck. Out of money, she was about to return home to her village, when by chance on a morning run, she meets another runner who tells her about a long running race in the local hills. She wins it and soon begins to realise her tough mountain village upbringing has prepared her perfectly for this sport. ‘
- Canon 5D mk2
- Sony FS100
- Zeiss Distagon 35mm T* f/2 ZE
- Canon: 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM
- Canon: 16-35mm/2.8
- Rode NTG2
- Rode Video Mic Pro
- Sennheiser EW 100 ENG
- F-Stop Loka
- DJI Ronin Phantom 2
- Go Pro Hero 3
- Mammut down jacket
- T2 Kinabalu
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