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Invitation Movies that Matter Festival 2022
Take on Afghanistan
Take on Afghanistan

In the theme programme Take on Afghanistan, the Movies that Matter Festival features urgent films from and about Afghanistan, showing the far reaching consequences of the latest developments on filmmakers and human rights. The directors of the films of this theme are the main guests at our festival, and will also participate in several Industry talks.

  Programme Overview  
Take on Afghanistan:
In Conversation

In this masterclass, moderator Orwa Nyrabia (Artistic Director IDFA) will talk to this year’s main guests: filmmakers Sahra ManiAboozar Amini and Dawood Hilmandi. The conversation is about the challenges and difficulties of Afghan filmmakers. How does one maintain his/her/their artistic voice when fleeing from their homeland? What is the current situation in Afghanistan like for filmmakers? The conversation is illustrated with fragments from the filmography of Mani, Amini and Hilmandi.


Date: Saturday 9 April, 13:00 – 15:00
Concordia, The Hague and livestream
VOD available from:
Sunday 10 April
Moderator: Orwa Nyrabia, Artistic Director IDFA

  More Information and Tickets  
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?


Join us to meet these talented and brave filmmakers from Afghanistan who continue to use their voice to address the injustices of Afghan society in their latest work!


Date: Monday 11 April, 10:00 – 12:30
Pathé Buitenhof
VOD available from:
Tuesday 11 April
Moderator: Margje de Koning, Artistic Director Movies that Matter

  More Information and Tickets  
Works Presented in Take on Afghanistan: Work in Progress
Entangled Birds

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.


Director: Dawood Hilmandi

Don Quixote of Kabul

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.


Director: Nematullah Khoshamadi

Kabul Melody

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.


Director: Sahra Mani

Etilaatroz During the Fall

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 trying to continue reporting in the newspaper. The journalists are recognized as creative, clean and promising journalists. The film portrays an in describable determination to fight for freedom of speech but in the end is not able to sustain under the extreme pressure and rough less methods of the Taliban.


Director: Abbas Rezayye
Producer: Zaki Daryabi

Movies that Matter Festival

Feel the world changing at the Movies that Matter Festival 2022. Forward, backward and in directions we can barely comprehend. See more than 80 beautiful, exciting and touching documentaries and feature films from all over the world. Experience inspiring debates, Q&As and educational programmes. Meet directors, activists, thinkers, and experts. From 8 to 16 April in The Hague, at eight satellite locations and online: the international film festival on human rights.

  Full programme  

We welcome press and professionals from the film and human rights sector across the globe to attend the festival both online and on-site.

  Apply now  
Industry Programme

The Industry programme runs from 7 to 13 April. We invite you to join us for a great line-up of workshops, panel discussions, pitches and masterclasses on film and human rights.

  Industry programme  

The Movies that Matter Festival 2022 is made possible by main partner Dutch Postcode Lottery and partners such as Amnesty International, ASN Foundation, BNNVARA, Creative Europe Media, Gemeente Den Haag Municipality of The Hague, Fonds 1818, Fonds 21, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Dutch Filmfund, Oak Foundation, Trouw, vfonds, VEVAM and VSBfonds.

Movies that Matter
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