Sita: A Girl from Jambu

A girls group in rural Nepal raises awareness about child sex trafficking and HIV/AIDS through street theater.
Year Released
Film Length(s)
48 mins


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.

Featured review

SITA: A GIRL FROM JAMBU is very informative and educational for Nepali and non-Nepali, and it is also empowering for the survivors, for it encourages them to share their stories and speak for the voiceless. Otherwise, their stories remained untold. We love this movie and its ability to raise awareness in the national and international community.
Dhan B. Pun & Lila Ghising
WPPC Nepal Foundation


SITA shows a complex and original narrative strategy rare in documentaries, and perfect for its subject matter.
Sarah Kozloff
Professor of Film, On the William R. Kenan, Jr. Chair, Vassar College
Kathleen Man's SITA shatters the boundaries between genres, mixing documentary with narrative structure. This dissolution of strict framing allows the film's powerful message of hope and courage to resonate with intelligence and beauty. Kathleen Man has made a bold and thoughtful work that explores the humanistic approach to documentary storytelling.
Patricia Bruck
President, Board of Trustees, The Robert Flaherty Film Seminar
A rare mix of drama and documentary, SITA: A GIRL FROM JAMBU is extraordinary in the literal sense of the word. As beautiful as its setting and as terrifying as the crimes it indicts, the film is truly effective in creating contrasts, speaking eloquently to the heart, the eyes, and the mind. A film to be cherished and reckoned with.
Ernesto R. Acevedo-Munoz
Chair of Film Studies, The University of Colorado-Boulder
Kathleen Man's patiently observed, elegantly constructed film SITA: A GIRL FROM JAMBU, takes us on a journey into the emotional landscape of young Nepalese girls at risk of exploitation in the sex trade. A street play performed by village girls sets in motion a story that carefully, thoughtfully peels back the layers of mystery surrounding the sex trade pandemic. Beautifully shot, perceptive, simultaneously alarming and hopeful, SITA reveals deep-seated cultural values about life in rural Nepal during a time of rapid social change.
Leonard Kamerling
Curator, Alaska Center for Documentary Film
SITA: A GIRL FROM JAMBU is a splendid example of engaging children directly in the creation of narrative documentary aimed at heightening awareness of violations of children's rights. It comes timely, as we approach the 20th anniversary of the CRC, and convincingly demonstrates the potential of film to support the implementation of the CRC principles.
Willem Van Vliet
Director, Children, Youth and Environments Center & Professor of Urban Studies, The University of Colorado-Denver
Poignant and beautifully told, SITA confronts us with the issue of child slavery in many parts of the world. It is a memorable film and a cry for action!
Jerry Aronson
Oscar-nominated documentary filmmaker and director of THE LIFE AND TIMES OF ALLEN GINSBERG
SITA: A GIRL FROM JAMBU, an Artivist award-winning film, is a powerful combination of documentary and narrative filmmaking, at once a diatribe against child sex slavery and a heartwarming tribute to a streetwise drama troupe working to make a positive difference.
Bettina Wolff & Christopher Riedesel
The Artivist Collective

Awards and Screenings

Winner, Best Feature Film, Children's Advocacy Category - Artivist Film Festival, 2011
Winner, Audience Award - San Diego Women's Film Festival, 2011
Nominated for Grand Prize - American Artist Film Festival, 2011
Winner, Jury Award for Best Documentary - University Film/Video Association Annual Conference, 2011
Winner, Best Feature Documentary - Moondance International Film Festival, 2011
Winner, Best Score - Moondance International Film Festival, 2011

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