Kathleen Man Gyllenhaal was born and raised on Oahu, Hawaii and currently lives in Los Angeles. She is the writer/director of a diverse body of award-winning dramas and documentaries, including BEAUTY MARK, a social documentary exploring America’s obsession with body image, perfection and success, and SITA: A GIRL FROM JAMBU, an ethnographic drama about child sex trafficking in Nepal. Kathleen taught at the University of Colorado-Boulder, then Vassar College, where she obtained tenure. From there, she transitioned to Hollywood, co-producing the feature film GRASSROOTS, starring Jason Biggs, Cedric the Entertainer and Lauren Ambrose, released by Samuel Goldwyn Films. Kathleen wrote and directed the award-winning LYCHEE THIEVES, an Academy Award qualifying live-action short. Recently, Kathleen directed the feature documentary, IN UTERO.
Films by Kathleen Gyllenhaal
Sita: A Girl from Jambu tells the story of a young Nepalese girl who is trafficked into sexual slavery. Adapted from a street drama conceived and staged by village girls in and around Hetauda, Nepal, the film also incorporates footage of a public performance of the play. An innovative blend of documentary and fiction, "Sita" offers an inside look at village life and the cultural landscape of rural Nepal. The film was made in collaboration with local grassroots organizations and shot on location in the heavily trafficked Eastern Terai region of Nepal, near the Indian border.
Sita lays out the root causes of child exploitation in the global sex trade and stimulates a discussion on women's empowerment. It also raises awareness in the local population about the nature of HIV/AIDS. Few documentaries focus exclusively on Nepal, nor provide an intimate view of everyday life and the cultural and economic factors that lead to the exploitation and prostitution of women and children.