WHO AM I?: I am Michael Brown and I founded the Development Media Workshop in 2005, as a not-for-profit entity, to support marginalised and disadvantaged communities to have a stronger voice in the discussion of issues that affect them. This includes enaging with animals, and the natural environment, who cannot speak for themselves.
WHAT AM I DOING?: I am making a documentary film, following the lives of mules in Nepal that work in the brick factories and as pack animals in the mountains. Kotchad is the Nepali word for mule. The mules start their life in India near Delhi, are sold at the Barabanki equine fair near Lucknow, and then walked up to Nepal. From there, they are transported to the brick factories in the Kathmandu Valley or to the mountains to work as pack animals. My film will follow the lives of these mules from the start of their life in India, through to the high mountains in Nepal where their lives usually end.
WHY IS THIS IMPORTANT?: I want to make this film to give an insight into the lives of the mules, and the people who work them. I want to increase awareness of animal welfare issues, so that better services and legislation will follow, both in Nepal and across the world.
HOW WILL I DO THIS?: I will seek to distribute my film through film festivals, and online platforms like Netflix and Amazon. I am partnering with a local organisation called Animal Nepal, who will use my filming within Nepal, and with The Donkey Sanctuary UK. My film will support these organisations to raise awareness and promote legislation to protect the welfare of working equines.