Afghan filmmaker Sahraa Karimi during a virtual conversation outside the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) said that she is trying to start a new life, a new journey, but that she is very sad, of course. The director added that whenever she is alone, she immediately thinks about going to Kabul.
Karimi is the director behind the feature film ‘Hava, Maryam, Ayesha’ and is the first woman to direct Afghan Film, the country’s national film body. He fled Afghanistan last month after Kabul fell to the Taliban and landed in Kiev, Ukraine, with the help of the Slovak Film and Television Academy, reports hollywoodreporter.com.
Since fleeing the country less than a month ago, Sahraa Karimi has been conducting interviews and participating in major industry events such as the Venice Film Festival and now TIFF’s “Visionaries” chat session to discuss her experiences as a refugee and ask for the support of the Afghan cinema. and filmmakers.
During her TIFF session, Karimi noted that she has been trying to get answers from the now Taliban-controlled Afghan government on whether or not she still holds her position in Afghan cinema, but has yet to receive a response.
“This is the reality. They do not tell me that I am not the general director of the Afghan film, but they do not tell me anything else,” said Karimi, adding that she would return to the country, if she could continue with her work, but it is doubtful that to she, as a woman, is allowed to do so.
“Every day I dream that there will be a call and we can go back,” he said.
Before the Taliban takeover of Kabul, Karimi was busy trying to plan a national film festival and trying to open more cinemas in the country.
Two of his young Afghan Film employees were killed in a car explosion.
She recalled: “I was looking for their (bodies) all night and the next day. That was the moment when I really lost hope. “
On August 15, after the Taliban entered the city, Karimi said that she headed to the airport with her family and two assistants from the Afghan film and that on August 17 they were on a Turkish flight to Ukraine.
“It was like a movie,” he said of the experience of trying to get on a plane, comparing the experience of the Korean movie ‘Train to Busan’.
“It was like the zombies came to attack you and you were running.”
Karimi plans to turn her experience of fleeing Afghanistan into a feature film titled ‘Flight from Kabul’, hoping to finish a first draft of the script later this month, and will soon teach at the Italian National Film School in Rome.
Karimi views film as an agent of change, pointing out that the Afghan government did not do enough to support the arts, reports hollywoodreporter.com.
“One of the biggest mistakes in the last 20 years of the Afghan government is that they did not support art, culture and cinema. They didn’t even build a cinema in Afghanistan, the filmmaker said, noting that there were no funds for movies or attempts to build infrastructure for productions.
“If we had real cinema, if we had real production, if the private sector and government-backed filmmakers made a film industry, then we would not be in this situation at the moment,” he said.
When asked what his advice would be for young Afghan filmmakers, he said: “Don’t let Afghan cinema die. Even if you are in exile.
“I just ask all filmmakers around the world not to be silent about the situation in Afghanistan and not to be silent about the cinema of Afghanistan.”
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