The San Francisco Bay Area is about to witness the inspiring journey of Pasang Lhamu Sherpa, the first Nepali woman to summit Mount Everest, through the lens of the acclaimed documentary “Pasang: In the Shadow of Everest.” Following its captivating week-long screening in Los Angeles at the Laemmle Theater in Glendale, the film is set to come back to the Bay Area for a one-night-only screening on February 10th, 2024, at the Smith Rafael Film Center in San Rafael, CA.
The Los Angeles screenings commenced with a memorable event on February 1st at the historic Laemmle Royal, featuring the film’s director and producer, Nancy Svendsen. The evening was enriched with a post-screening Q&A session moderated by award-winning director and Asian World Film Festival programmer Marie Rouhban, who offered deep insights into the making of this remarkable documentary.
The Asian World Film Festival aims at bringing Asian cinema to the forefront in the United States, showcasing films from across the Asian continent to a diverse audience. Celebrated for its commitment to cultural exchange and understanding through film, it offers a unique platform for filmmakers to present their stories, fostering dialogue and appreciation across cultures. Its inclusion of films and filmmakers, like those involved in “Pasang: In the Shadow of Everest,” underscores the festival’s dedication to highlighting talents from Asia, making it a major event in the international film community. They partnered with the film’s producers to provide additional visibility to the Los Angeles community.
“Pasang: In the Shadow of Everest” delves into the life of Pasang Lhamu Sherpa, a figure of immense courage and determination. Pasang’s historic ascent in 1993 not only placed her in the record books but also challenged the traditional gender norms of Nepal, inspiring countless women and girls to pursue their dreams, regardless of societal constraints. Her tragic death during the descent has left a lasting legacy, urging a conversation on the roles of Sherpa climbers in Himalayan expeditions and the recognition they deserve.
The film navigates through Pasang’s extraordinary journey with sensitivity and depth, shedding light on her dreams, struggles, and the indomitable spirit that drove her to the top of the world. It is a story of empowerment, resilience, and the human capacity to dream beyond the visible horizons. It is not just a film but an homage to a remarkable soul whose legacy continues to inspire beyond the mountains she loved so dearly.
Director Nancy Svendsen shared that she spent ten years working on this film, a journey that took her to several countries outside of the US to meet people who had encountered Pasang Lhamu Sherpa during her lifetime. She also discussed her collaboration with several key figures on this film, including established documentary producers Sharon Wood and Christy McGill, Academy Award-winning composer Todd Boekelheide, and renowned editor Jeffrey Friedman.
Marie Rouhban led the discussion for the first 20 minutes, and the audience was then able to ask Nancy questions directly for another 20 minutes.
For those in the Bay Area, the upcoming screening at the Smith Rafael Film Center is a unique opportunity to experience this powerful documentary. It will be screened on Saturday, February 10th at 4:30 PM with a Q&A to follow with Director Nancy Svendsen.
” Pasang: In the Shadow of Everest” is more than a documentary; it’s an invitation to witness the strength of the human spirit, the struggle for equality, and the beauty of realizing one’s dreams against all odds. Prepare to be moved by the incredible story of Pasang Lhamu Sherpa, a woman who dared to defy the limits and, in doing so, became a beacon of hope and inspiration for generations to come.
Published by: Aly Cinco