Utah County filmmaker teams with nonprofit to film in and raise funds for Nepal

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“Highway to Dhampus” now playing in theaters across Utah

Kylie Chilcutt

Staff Writer

Photo credit Fifty Films

Orem moviegoers have a unique chance this week to see “Highway to Dhampus”, a feature length production playing in select theaters. Written and directed by American Fork filmmaker, Rick McFarland, the film is set in Nepal and based around an orphanage in the peaceful countryside.

The decision to film in Nepal came after the movie was written, so the impact the film has made was not entirely anticipated. The director’s wife, Kathy McFarland, founded the nonprofit organization called Mind the Gap Worldwide, to help people in Nepal gain access to clean water, food, shelter, clothing, education, and health care.

Although filmed before the devastating earthquake, the filmmaker hopes to bring awareness to the nonprofit organization in order to provide relief to the Nepalese people.

Viewers are taken through a sweet story of new, innocent love between an unlikely pair. Meanwhile, a British heiress trying to improve her reputation with charity in Nepal gives the story a modern spin.

The serene backdrop of the Nepalese rural villages and mountains match the slow pace of the story line. This production is not about attracting audiences with thrill; the real interest is in the dynamic of the characters, which all go through significant transitions.

A peek into a quieter way of life may inspire audiences to evaluate their attitudes about modern living just as the characters in the film abandoned pride to make a valuable contribution to humanity.

Perhaps the most moving emotions in the film come from the children, as the screen unveils the genuine reactions they have when the actress gives them school supplies and toys. The filmmakers cast Nepal locals for the roles of the orphans, so it was in fact the first time they had ever seen such luxury at their school.

This wholesome film is perfect for adults who appreciate family-friendly content, but the message (and any entertainment) will probably be lost on younger audiences. Emotional twists lead the audience through the plot to the final message, which is ultimately love and learning to honor people even with cultural differences.

For playing times and more information visit www.highwaytodhampus.com and www.mindthegapworldwide.org