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Status of Cinema in Afghanistan


New Delhi [India], Dec. 13 (ANI): Panel discussion, film screening and Sufi music marked the 32nd SAARC Charter day which was observed in the South Asian University.

Renowned filmmakers like Rahul Roy and Prasanna Vithanage from Sri Lanka were present during the panel discussion on "Cinema and Society in South Asia".

Afghanistan being a very strategic part of South Asia, the cinema in the country never got the chance to grow because of the political instability and security issues.

This is what notable documentary filmmaker Rahul Roy was to say about the status of cinema in Afghanistan.

"In the last decade or so, there is a fairly lively film culture that has developed slowly in Afghanistan. And one of the films has won Oscar also for the best foreign film. But it takes time; you have to understand this is the country which is completely ravished by war. Everything was destroyed, so it's now in the process of re-building as far as the film making, photography and media is concerned. And there very talented young people who are working specially on short films, because there are big issue of finances to make huge feature films or big documentary money is required and there is not such kind of industry there. But there are a lot of young people who are working on short films and they are doing wonderful work".

All forms of entertainment -- movies, theatre and television -- were outlawed during the Taliban regime.

A renowned filmmaker Prasanna Vithanage was of the view that people should watch more Afghanistan movies because of the country's great culture, tradition and lifestyle. "As we all know that for the last three four decades, Afghanistan is suffering with a war and along with that the film industry and the film makers have been badly affected. Whenever I travel to other film festivals, even I haven't seen that many afghan movies, but I must say one of the brilliant films that I have seen in the entire continent are from Afghanistan and that is 'Osama' directed by Siddiq Barmak." Said Prasanna.

"It is a very thought proving thing, I think we should find more about Afghanistan movies and we should try to showcase Afghani films in south Asia and other film festivals and that will be a good starting point for the Afghani filmmakers", he further added.

On behalf of Ariel J. Nasr, the director of the movie, Umam Tanuku, a documentary filmmaker and film curator, showcased the screening of the 'boxing girls of Kabul', which is based on the women boxing in Afghanistan.

"This film is called boxing girls of Kabul, it is an hour long documentary. It looks at three women boxers, who are learning boxing from their coach. What is lovely in this film is the relationship between the coach and the students and what is significant about the film and situation is that quite often we don't find girls who are learning an aggressive sport like boxing. It makes it even more significant because it is happening in Afghanistan", explained Uma.

Despite decades of conflict and political changes over the years wonderful films have been made both inside and outside Afghanistan and the 'boxing girls of Kabul' has emerged as one of the best films from the war torn country.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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First Published: Tue, December 13 2016. 14:57 IST