Costa Mesa, CA – May 8, 2012 – While millions of Americans have watched a fictionalized version of ‘slumdogs’ living in poverty, few know the true reality of living as an abandoned and orphaned child on the streets of India.
Narrated by Grammy Award winner Rebecca St. James, Mother India: Life Through the Eyes of the Orphan is a compelling documentary following the adventure of 25 courageous orphans living as a family along the railway as they make pivotal decisions that will directly impact their future. Filmed in January 2012 in southern India with a small production team, the documentary is the work of first-time filmmakers David Trotter and Shawn Scheinoha, both based in Orange County, California.
“India is growing in both population and industry, but few people know that there are over 31 million orphans in the nation,” commented David Trotter, executive producer of Mother India
. “Each of these young lives is much more than a statistic. Every one of them has a name, a face, and a story.”
Although both Trotter and Scheinoha have travelled to India on multiple occasions for humanitarian purposes, this was their first documentary project on the subject.
“The bottom line is that statistics go in one ear and out the other,” said Scheinoha. “People need to hear stories and see the reality of what it looks like for millions of Indian children who are orphaned. We’re not out to just tell a tragic story. We’re focused on raising awareness and changing lives.”
According to UNICEF, there are over 31 million orphans living in India, and the issue is more fragmented than simply helping a child who has lost both parents. According to producers, the stories of the children profiled in Mother India
reveal the complexity of the issue and the multi-faceted approach needed to give each child the opportunity to grow up and reach their full potential.
“We were blown away by how courageous these children are and to what extent they’ll go to in order to help one another survive,” said Trotter. “When you look into the eyes of two siblings – three and seven years old – who boarded a train to escape the abuse of their alcoholic parents, you start to realize that India needs our help to deal with this global issue.”
While the production team was shooting the documentary, a spontaneous effort was made to help the two youngest children transition into an orphanage and school operated by Harvest India, an indigenous, humanitarian organization funded by multiple faith-based groups in southern California. Although this was not within the scope of the original documentary, these two young lives soon became a central storyline within the film.
As the documentary is being finalized for a Fall 2012 premiere, two advance screenings will be hosted in Orange County, California. Suresh Kumar, president of Harvest India, will participate in a Q&A session with both filmmakers at each advance screening.
• Wednesday, June 6th – 7pm – hosted at RockHarbor Church (345 Fischer Avenue, Costa Mesa)
• Friday, June 8th – 7pm – hosted at Newport Mesa Church (2599 Newport Blvd., Costa Mesa)
For more information and free tickets to the advance screenings of Mother India
: Life Through the Eyes of the Orphan, visit motherindiafilm.com
About Mother India
Premiering in the summer of 2012, Mother India: Life Through the Eyes of the Orphan is a compelling documentary capturing the life and stories of 25 abandoned and orphaned children living along the railway in southern India. Executive Producers David Trotter and Shawn Scheinoha showed up hoping to find kids who would be willing to trust them enough to show them life through their eyes. What they didn’t expect was to be warmly welcomed into a ‘family’. For more information, visit www.motherindiafilm.com