Even When I Fall

Kathmandu’s acrobats make a stand against slavery

Produced and directed by Kate McLarnon and Sky Neal

As landmark elections spread political unrest across Kathmandu, something unique is happening. A group of circus artists are reclaiming skills that once came at a gravely high cost. Former child slaves in Indian big tops, they are now free – and show-stopping artists on their own terms. Together they have formed Nepal’s only circus

In a country where trafficking and bonded labour is rife, Even When I Fall somersaults through the rich landscape of Nepal with five young adults who have lived through it and survived. Performing in bustling villages on the Indian border, they are free to tell their stories as a warning to vulnerable communities.

Part ob-doc and part choreographed construction, the film draws on two years of interviews fused with a soundtrack created with local musicians. The hair-raising beauty of acrobatics on white silks hung from tall trees and the impact of a body-slam on a busy street come together in a story told through the bodies and words of the survivors themselves.

Even When I Fall is a hypnotic film that harnesses the visual power of the circus to give remarkable, previously unseen perspectives into the complex world of human trafficking.


The WorldView funding was awarded to this project at an absolutely vital time. We knew we had a great story, and great access, but we didn’t have the funds to travel to Nepal to develop the film. We couldn’t move forward and we weren’t at a stage where we could apply for many funders or backers who were looking for more advanced material. We couldn’t have achieved anything more without the early support from WorldView.
Kate McLarnon