“Saturday, 16th January. I’ve just arrived in front of Hackney Picture House, host of the London Short Film Festival this year. The cold winter wind is freezing the extremities of my body while I’m waiting for Veemsen, the film director of MAYA, the BKSTS* Student Best Film of the year 2015 and a Raindance officially selected short film that is to be screened this afternoon. It doesn’t take long before I can see him cross the road, accompanied by two of his friends and collaborators, Tom Cullingham, his producer, and Michael Ling, his sound designer. After some warm greetings, the four of us enter the cinema, grab our tickets and go up to the second floor to find screen 3 and sit in the last row of the room. The show is now not late starting. Among the seven or so short films of the screening, the three young men are obviously all waiting to see their work on the big screen again. ‘MAYA is about survival, hopes and dreams’, Veemsen explains to me.
Shot in Nepali language, MAYA tells the authentic story of three homeless children, who escape from the slave traders and find themselves penniless, wandering in the streets of Kathmandu, Nepal, with only their hopes and dreams of happiness. After the screening, Arran Green, the director of photography for the short film, recalls that ‘Nepal is a fantastically vibrant country. It’s bursting with life and colour.’