Soma Girls

Soma Girls (2009) explores the lives of girls growing up in a hostel in Kolkata, India. From ages 6 to 17, the film follows these intelligent, funny and high-energy girls as they overcome extraordinary circumstances to lead ordinary lives.

First Christian Church

***Official Selection SouthSide Film Festival 2010***

***Official Selection 12th Mecal International Short Film Festival, Barcelona.***

***WORLD PREMIERE: Indo-American Arts Council Film Festival*** November 13, 2009 ~ 3:00pm ~ The Quad Cinema, 34 West 13th Street, NY NY. World Premiere gets mention in VARIETY!!!

***2009/10 Grant recipient ~ Center for Asian American Media (CAAM)***

***2009/10 Grant recipient ~ New York State Council on the Arts***

“Soma Girls” TRAILER

If recent news reports are to be believed, India has been feted as the next global superpower. However as India flourishes with an influx of corporate monies and urban development cities like Kolkata are dealing with a dark underbelly of urban issues. Kalighat is one of the largest red light districts in the city with most of the sex workers coming from outside Kolkata; some from as far away as Nepal and Bangladesh. But whatever their origin, their reasons for being in the profession are mostly the same: they were tricked, forced, or sold into the trade since they were teenagers or younger.

The chances that the children of sex workers will be forced to earn their living similarly is very high. With this in mind, social worker, Urmi Basu started Soma Home, a hostel for girls. The 30 girls living in the home are mostly daughters of sex workers or come from poor families and run the risk of being forced into prostitution. Because of that risk, Soma Home has been placed far away from Kalighat and is therefore inaccessible to the pimps that ‘manage’ the mothers of many of these children.

Each girl at Soma Home is painfully aware of their individual circumstances but yet they play, dance, study and speak of wanting to grow up, to become independent and find a way to get their mothers and sisters out of the trade.