Ramro Global Films
Director: Amy Marquis
Executive Producer: Jordan Campbell
Director of Photography: Adrian Belec
Category: Documentary short, 12 minutes
Location: Taksindu, Chhulemu Nepal
Status: IN PRODUCTION
Release: Fall, 2019
KARMA, a 12-minute documentary short, captures the heartfelt story of one Sherpa’s remarkable journey back to his roots in the wake of a devastating earthquake, and his struggle to face his limits as a humanitarian and uphold his Buddhist worldview.
As a child in the mountains of eastern Nepal, Karma Sherpa was grateful to eat just one meal a day. Barefoot, he walked the steep trails between his village of Chhulemu to the Taksindu Monastery, perched above the Solu Khumbu, to sell potatoes. At night he huddled around a stone fire with his widowed mother and eight siblings in the icy shadow of the Himalayan crest. Desperate to bring financial stability to his family, Karma began scratching out a harsh existence in his teens as a high-altitude porter, until one day he met Anna, a Swiss trekker who gifted him a small monthly stipend for a basic education in Kathmandu. Anna’s gesture eventually led Karma to America, where he is now living in Colorado, married with two children, and running a successful adventure travel business that supports his entire family, including those who stayed behind in Nepal.
But the stakes grew higher on May 25, 2015, when Karma turned on the news to see Nepal crumbling under a devastating earthquake that killed tens of thousands of people. He launched into action, raising money to rebuild homes and the Taksindu Primary School. Then, recalling the pain of his father’s death, which was caused by an infection that could have been treated with basic care, Karma took an even bigger leap, transforming the school into a temporary medical clinic to serve locals isolated from health services. Four years on, Karma’s efforts have led to a remarkable annual stewardship event at the Taksindu Monastery in Solu Khumbu, with a revolving door of Western and Nepalese ophthalmologists, dentists, cardiologists, neurologists, gynecologists, nurses, and other medical professionals coming together to make a difference. But tensions rise on the ground when they run out of time and volunteers and are forced to turn people away.
KARMA, a 12-minute documentary short, captures the heartfelt story of one Sherpa’s remarkable journey back to his roots in the wake of a devastating earthquake, and his struggle to face his limits as a humanitarian and uphold his Buddhist worldview. Directed by award-winning filmmaker Amy Marquis and shot throughout eastern Nepal with the Oscar-nominated director/cinematographer Adrian Belec, KARMA is fiscally sponsored by the LUCA Media Collective, a Boulder-based nonprofit that supports women storytellers.
BEHIND THE SCENES | Stills from the documentary film KARMA