How We Got Started
Nepal is almost 8000 miles away from Utah but Rick McFarland’s experiences as a filmmaker there inspired his family in the U.S. to found the non-profit Mind the Gap Worldwide.
Kathy McFarland, who along with her husband Rick, owns fiftyfilms, a production company in Salt Lake City, created MTGW after Rick McFarland spent two and a half months shooting a movie in Nepal.
Kathy McFarland said her husband went to Nepal as a filmmaker on the movie Highway to Dhampus. He didn’t know a lot about the people before he went but he got a chance to see third world needs first-hand. Nepal was so beautiful. Rick said it was like a character in the movie, but at times it was hard for the cast and crew to get necessities like clean water, health care, and power to run their equipment. Rick said, “I went to Nepal to take something away of my own; selfish motivations, I guess. But I fell in love with the culture and people, and felt a desire grow to do something for the country, for the people." He said, “I think about Nepal every day."
After filming was complete, the McFarlands couldn’t stop thinking about the needs they’d seen in Nepal. Kathy said, “We thought, wouldn’t it be great if we could build on the theme of the movie to continue to help the people of Nepal?” Highway to Dhampus, is a story about finding love, redemption, and your best self through giving. The non-profit MTGW was founded to continue that theme and bridge the gap between the “haves” and “have not's”.
Kathy partnered with her sister, Lisa Reece, and daughter, Jessica McFarland to create MTGW’s board of directors. Although inspired by Nepal, the nonprofit’s mission is a global one.
Highway to Dhampus premiered at the Heartland Film Festival on October 18, 2014. For more information about the movie go to www.facebook.com/highwaytodhampus.