A vanishing tribe fights by hunger strike to preserve their sacred land in the remote himalayas from a Mega Dam.
'Achulay! The Hunger Strike for the Himalayas' is to be a feature length documentary film about water, power, indigenous rights and the longest hunger strike in history. From 2006-2009 the indigenous Lepcha tribe of the Eastern Himalayas staged multiple rallies and protest to the construction of a Hydro-electric dam on their holy river, culminating in hunger strike.
The trailer for the film is here: http://youtu.be/meDmG-dcbvY
While working on another film about tibetan buddhism with indigenous activists in 2005 in the state of Sikkim, Adam Fish and I met Dawa Lepcha. He told us of the government plans to enter Dzongu and construct the mega dams on the Teesta River. One year later, after finishing our vodcast for Current TV ('Whose Sacred Land?'), Dawa made headlines by initiating the first hunger strike in protest. We visited Sikkim and Dawa again in 2008, when the 'relay' strike was in full swing at Day 445, and collected a lot of footage. Dawa gave us personal footage as well, to help us complete the picture. However, major things happened in the following year--many unclear--and the lepchas abandoned their active resistance in the capitol in March of 2009.
Though we have completed the majority of principal shooting, additional, conclusive interviews are necessary to produce the film we want to make. The funds requested in this campaign are to cover costs for me to return to the Himalayas and get interviews, 'b-roll' as well as footage of the dams within the Lepcha reserve called Dzongu. The film will be edited by our friend Romong Rongcup, a lepcha from Sikkim, who worked in San Francisco as an editor for many years.
Thanks so much for helping the lepchas and myself complete this document!
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