OCTOBER 18 – 22, 2023

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Susan Sarandon and SDFF Filmmaker Thomas Morgan Come to the Aid of Children in Nepal

San Diego Film Festival audience will recall that WAITING FOR MAMU won Best Documentary at last year’s festival. WAITING FOR MAMU follows Pushpa Basnet, internationally-lauded social worker who has adopted 50 kids out of prison, because if their mothers are incarcerated they are forced to grow up in prison.

The film’s director, Thomas Morgan, was working on his film for the San Diego Film Festival/Qualcomm 4K Phone Challenge, when Nepal was struck by a massive 7.8 magnitude earthquake. Pushpa and the 50 children she cares for, miraculously survived the earthquake but had to evacuate their home. They are now living in the field enduring heavy rain under a makeshift shelter. They face an uncertain future as infrastructures for food, water and shelter are compromised.

Thomas called me to say he was going to fly to Katmandu to help Pushpa and the children. He asked if he could take the 4K smartphone and document his experience. Thomas began posting video blogs of his journey.  The tragedy of the situation and the power of the human spirit comes through in each blog. Thomas is an inspiration and a true humanitarian. While many of sit on the couch and say, “I wish I could do something”, Thomas gathered supplies, packed his bags, kissed his wife and kids and flew around the world to actually “do something”.

I encourage you to take a few minutes and watch these heartbreaking and inspiring videos.  Please feel free to share with others through your social networks

Tonya Mantooth
Vice President and Director of Programming
San Diego Film Festival

We also encourage you to give whatever you can to the Utopia Foundation. 100% of your donation goes directly to support Pushpa and the kids


DAY 1 – Thomas Morgan travels to Nepal

DAY 2 – Thomas in Kathmandu

DAY 3 – A Day with the Children