Take on Afghanistan: Work in Progress

In this programme Afghan filmmakers Dawood Hilmandi, Nematullah Khoshamadi, Sahra Mani and Zaki Daryabi show their latest works in progress. After each Work in Progress there is a talk with the filmmaker about their project and we'll also address questions regarding the financing and production of Afghan films. What are the possibilities as a producer from Amsterdam to make a film in Afghanistan? How can Afghan filmmakers find producers, sales agents and distributors? And what are the difficulties that Afghan filmmakers in particular face?

Moderator: Margje de Koning, Artistic Director Movies that Matter

Language: English

Works presented:

1.    Entangled Bird
Director: Dawood Hilmandi
Contact: info@dawoodhilmandi.com


What does it cost to ruin a land? When is the moment to call a land ruined? When is the moment we can’t see the hope? What makes a woman strong enough to be the hope and light and warmth even in the darkest times of life? What is the role of men in Afghanistan?

One woman, as tough as a brave lioness who fearlessly goes between men ruled land, to create a new vision, new voice, and to create understanding about the possible real problem among the people. The only support and tension releasing moment for her is the fact that her husband stands behind her, an understanding open minded man. And her beautiful children’s smile.

Another woman, Najiba, young, naive, but brave to go on the life journey with the young film maker Ezat her husband who was making a film about Salima Till Taliban took the country over, In the most fearful and desperate times, when there is no place to hide for an artist, only the arms of this young calm woman comforting him from the anxiety caused by Taliban.

The documentary of Salima and Ezat’s family covers the life event of two strong women Salima and Najiba and a young film maker; Ezat, making a film about Salima until the situation is drastically altered.

2.    Don Quixote of Kabul
Director: Nematullah Khoshamadi
Contact: khoshahmadi.85@gmail.com


Patriot Mr. Sharif Watan dost who wears a red hat which is a symbol of millennial Hazara culture. He is successful comedian who goes to war of poverty, Mafia and racism with empty hands, a lot of anger and force. He buries a bunch of young people who have been killed in schools, maternity wards, mosques and stadiums, all of which are hazara people. But he is just watching this systematic massacre that has ancient roots, from the time of Abdul Rahman to the Ashraf Ghani. Despite, the fall of Ghani these systematic killings are continued till date.

Don Quixote of Kabul is a Close Up project.

3.    Kabul Melody
Director: Sahra Mani
Contact: Sahramanifilms@gmail.com


Kabul Melody is Mani’s second feature documentary after her 2019 work A Thousand Girls Like Me about a young woman who seeks justice having been sexually abused by her father for years. Mani had begun work on the film in 2015, following two girls who challenge societal mores and risk their lives to study music at Afghanistan’s National Institute of Music in Kabul.“The school was close to where I lived in Kabul,” she explains. ”It was kind of exceptional because boys and girls were studying together. In a city where every day you heard gunshots and the sound of violence, the melodies coming out of its compound were a huge contrast.“I saw it as a type of utopia. It made me dream of an Afghanistan where guns would one day be replaced by instruments.” Mani had been planning to end the documentary by showing how Afghan musicians were taking on teaching and managerial roles at the school, originally filled by international staff who helped get the institution off the ground. Mani is now editing the film in Paris and is looking for some post production financing.

4.    Etilaatroz During the Fall
Director: Abbas Rezayye
Producer: Zaki Daryabi
Contact: Zaki.daryabi2@gmail.com


The film shows what the Afghan people have achieved in the last twenty years with the help of the international community when it comes to press and media freedom. It answers to the question of what did the fall of Kabul bring to these achievements; And it also paints a picture of what will be the future of freedom of expression in Afghanistan.

Throught the eyes of chief-editor Zaki Daryabi is determend to keep the values of the newpaper Etilaatroz running. With the 50 employees who fight for awareness among the afghan people… try to continu reporting in the newspaper. The journalists are recognized as creative, clean and promising journalists. The film portrays an un describable determination to fight for freedom of speech but in the end is not able to sustain under the extreme pressure and rough less methodes of the Taliban.