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.

Journey into Bhojpur Mountains - Children on the road with a cobra
Journey into Bhojpur Mountains – Children on the road with a cobra

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.

Homeward bound in the Bhojpur mountains [Instagram: @lloyd_belcher] #miraraifilm
Homeward bound in the Bhojpur 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.

Family in the Bhojpur mountains[Instagram: @lloyd_belcher] #miraraifilm
Mira’s 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.

Cooking by solar light at home in Bhojpur mountains [Instagram: @lloyd_belcher] #miraraifilm
Cooking by solar light at home

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. 

Filming at home in the Bhojpur mountains [Instagram: @lloyd_belcher] #miraraifilm
Filming at home in the Bhojpur mountains
Sunrise overlooking home in Bhojpur mountains [Instagram: @lloyd_belcher] #miraraifilm
Sunrise overlooking home in Bhojpur mountains

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:

September 30th 2015
Official Trailer Release
December 1st 2015
Advance screenings – exclusive viewing for those who have contributed to funding the film
December 5th & 6th 2015
Premiere Screenings in various countries
December 7th 2015
General Release for public viewing [online]
Premiere Screenings:
The official release date for ‘Mira Rai’ is December 7th 2015. The film will be available online and we are currently planning a number of premiere screenings in different countries before General Release on the weekend of December 5th & 6th. ‘Mira Rai’ is a non-profit project and all monies raised above meeting the film costs are being used for supporting Mira and other Nepalese runners so that they have the opportunity to compete in international races. All those involved in making the film are working without pay & we are giving our time, skills & resources without income. The film fund has paid for basic travel , food, accommodation & other filming costs. The primary intended audience of the film has always been the young people of Nepal and we are working on how we can reach a wide audience in Nepal with Mira’s inspirational story. We are inviting any organisations/parties who are interested in hosting & organising a premiere screening in their city on December 5th or 6th 2015 to contact us to express an interest so we can begin discussions. We are keen that the viewing experience is of a high quality and that hosting venues have suitable high quality screening equipment [project & audio system]. We have a framework for hosts of premiere screenings to work within that includes file handling, accounting, promotional materials and more. At this point, we invite preliminary expressions of interest so that we can begin discussions.
If you are interested in hosting a premiere screening, please submit your interest by clicking here.

‘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. ‘

Overlooking home valley in the Bhojpur mountains #miraraifilm
Overlooking home valley in the Bhojpur mountains

Gear used:

  • 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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