SAN FRANCISCO (KTVU) - He says he was wrongfully imprisoned in Nepal, but now filmmaker Wolf Price has made it safely back to U.S. soil. He says he still can't believe it. For the last 5 months and 8 days, he was behind bars in Nepal in a cell with no ventilation, no hot water, and no outdoor space.
Price says, "It's basically like a living room size place with 100 people all around the floor sleeping shoulder to shoulder."
Price, an ordained monk, had been in Nepal since 2012 doing humanitarian work and making documentaries about the oppression of women and children. But in April, he says he was wrongfully accused of a crime by a young man who had been working with him.
Price says, "He was saying I beat him so the neighbors got angry. And one of the neighbors called the police."
Later he says a drug charge was manufactured and added to his paperwork. His mother, Mary Bartnikowski of Palo Alto, began advocating on his behalf, spending six weeks in Nepal and raising money for a good lawyer.
Bartnikowski says, "I prayed a lot. I've never prayed so much in my life. I've never cried so much in my life."
Finally, the family got resolution. Even though Price never set foot in court, and never saw a judge, he was allowed to leave with "time served."
Still his mother says she didn't exhale until they were safely on the plane.
She says, "I just feel so relieved. The second we stepped foot on the plane in Kathmandu and I knew the plane was going to take off, it wasn't going to get canceled, and we were leaving, was a big moment of relief for me."
Beyond relief, Price says he's feeling overwhelming gratitude right now, for all the people who advocated on his behalf.
Price says, "That's what made me pretty different from most of the people in there. The people that are stuck there didn't have that type of support."
And through his ordeal, he says he never gave up hope that he would get out.
Price says, "It's hard and it's scary. It's dangerous. But I did feel like in my heart I knew that it was going to work out eventually."
Now that he's back, price is looking for a house, a car and a job. He says he'd like to continue doing filmmaking and advocacy work here in the U.S.