Directed and Filmed by Shiouwen Hong
Original Music by Jochem Weierink
Sound Design & Mix by KlevR Sounddesign
A short documentary about an outcast girl turning her special needs into super powers.
Neha was born into the “untouchable” caste, where special-needs children are largely neglected and abused. She was raised in fear with no future prospects until a school opened its doors for her and many alike. Neha then began a transformative journey through love and encouragement, and learned to thrive with her newfound gift for dancing. While the school gained momentum, it still faced hurdles in a lack of professional staff, a scarcity of resources, and the community's strong resistance to change. The school continues to fight for special-needs rights despite the overwhelming odds, one step at a time.
Bodhi Tree Educational Foundation (bodhitreeeducationalfoundation.org), the school at the heart of Neha’s journey, opened in 2009 with the mission of providing equal education for children living in impoverished areas of India. They’ve received worldwide praise for their work, including support from the Dalai Lama himself. They commissioned LA-based filmmaker and documentarian Shiouwen Hong to create a film and photo-journalism piece as part of their global outreach initiative.
"We are living in unprecedented times where people are hurting and need to be heard, particularly the most vulnerable. As the worldwide pandemic forces us all to collectively experience the despair of isolation and neglect, Neha’s story is a reminder that we can only be stronger by taking care of each other, leaving no one behind."
To support the school gofundme.com/f/coronavirus-crisis-in-bodhi-tree-school
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