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Afghanistan: The Decade on Film
A Retrospective Film Series

This retrospective film series, streaming Fri. Nov 5th - Sun. Nov 7th, 2021 highlights a remarkable variety of influential and groundbreaking works shot in Afghanistan during the past decade - four ambitious narratives & one illuminating documentary. 

Virtual On-Demand Admission to all (5) films is included in the $10 ticket package. 

Films stream  Friday Nov 5th at 7PM CST to Sunday Nov 7th, 11:59PM CST on FILMOCRACY. 

After the films, join us Sun. Nov 7th, 5pm - 6:30pm CST for a panel discussion with filmmaker/head of Afghan Film Sahraa Karimi (Hava, Maryam, Ayesha), director Hassan Nazer (Utopia), director Benjamin Gilmour (Jirga), and Ashley Faye, Development Director at Refugee Services of Texas.  Moderated by Kamran Asdar Ali, Professor , Department of Anthropology, University of Texas at Austin. 

$10 - General Admission
- admission includes ALL (5) feature films

* to access your member discount, enter your member email as a PROMO CODE before checkout

All films in this program were shot in Afghanistan during the past decade, though the time periods and settings explored range from the orphanages and cinema houses of the 1980's Soviet Era to the streets of Kabul in the 2010's and abroad to the UK and Russia as characters cross borders on school trips or medical journeys.  With this program, we hope to offer some level of support to the creative community in Afghanistan as they rebuild and respond. 

Feature Films


Dir. Shahrbanoo Sadat I Afghanistan, Denmark l 90 mins I 2019 I Dari, Russian, Hindi w/ English subtitles

In the late 1980s, 15-year-old street kid Qodrat dreams of Bollywood but is arrested for illegally reselling cinema tickets. Put in an orphanage on the outskirts of Kabul, he goes to school, takes a class trip, makes friends, and falls in love for the first time. 

Selected Festivals & Awards:

Cannes Film Festival - Director's Fortnight - Official Selection

Asia Pacific Screen Awards- Best Youth Feature (Nominee)

Reykjavik Film Festival - Golden Puffin for Best Film

Munich International Film Festival- Official Selection

Sarajevo International Film Festival - Official Selection


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Hava, Maryam, Ayesha 

Dir. Sahraa Karimi I Afghanistan I 83 mins I 2019 I Dari w/ English subtitles

From filmmaker Sahraa Karimi, comes the resonant story of three women from different generations and social backgrounds; each living in Kabul and facing a pivotal challenge. 

Karimi also served as the first female president of the Afghan Film Organization, prior to being forced to flee Afghanistan during the 2021 fall of Kabul.

Selected Festivals & Awards:

Venice Film Festival - Official Selection

Cairo Film Festival - Official Selection

Dhaka International Film Festival - Best Actress

Busan Int'l Film Festival - Official Selection

International Film Festival of India - Official Selection


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Dir. Hassan Nazer I Afghanistan, UK, Iran, India I 85 mins I 2015 I English, Dari, Hindi w/ English subtitles

Janan, a woman from Afghanistan, travels to the UK for her artificial insemination. Cultural, religious, and moral complications explode when William, a medical sciences student working in the clinic, switches the donor's semen for his own

Selected Festivals & Award

88th Academy Awards - Afghanistan's Official Entry for 'Best Foreign Language Film'

Asian World  Film Festival - 'Best Actress' Award for Martine Malalai Zikria

Delhi International Film Festival - 'Best Actress'

Jaipur International Film Festival - 'Best Director' Award for Hassan Nazer

London Asian Film Festival - 'Best Production'

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Dir. Benjamin Gilmour I Australia, Afghanistan I 78 mins I 2018 I English, Pashtu w/ English subtitles

Former Australian soldier, Mike Wheeler, returns to Afghanistan, seeking redemption from the family of a civilian man he killed during the war.

Selected Festivals & Awards:

Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts (AACTA) Awards - 'Best Indie Film'

Australian Screen Editors - 'Best Editing' Nominee

Toronto Int'l Film Festival (TIFF) -  Official Selection

CinefestOz - 'Best Film'

Palm Springs Film Festival - Official Selection

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Dir. Alexandria Bombach, Mo Scarpelli I Afghanistan I 85 mins I 2015 I Dari, English w/ English subtitles

After decades of war and an oppressive Taliban regime in which photography was a crime, four Afghan photojournalists  face the realities of building a free press – reframing Afghanistan for the world and for themselves.

Selected Festivals & Awards:

SXSW International Film Festival - Official Selection

HotDocs - Official Selection

BFI London - Official Selection

Seattle Film Festival - Women in Cinema - Lena Sharpe Award

Winner of Best Documentary Award at: 
Sidewalk Film Festival, Brooklyn International Film Festival, Camden, Cayman Islands Int'l FF, Cleveland, New Hampshire, Sante Fe, Weyauwega & more.

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Sahraa Karimi is an acclaimed and influential filmmaker who comes from the second generation of Afghan refugees in Iran.  With a PHD in Cinema and Directing, she has made 30+ narrative and documentary shorts over the years, which have been awarded in numerous international festivals. 

After 10 prolific years of filmmaking, she returned to Kabul, and completed two successful documentaries,  broadcast through ARTE France and BBC.

HAVA, MARYAM, AYESHA, her first feature, premiered at Venice and  screened widely, including at Busan, Cairo, Kolkata, and the Asian World Film Festival. 

As a female filmmaker from Afghanistan, she strives to be a storyteller for her country women who seek to change their lives in a traditional society. 


Hassan Nazer is a British-Iranian film director, film editor, producer and a judge in international film festivals. He was the head of jury for SAARC Film Festival 2019,  held in Sri Lanka.

Nazer studied at art university in Tehran. After moving to UK, he attended the University of Aberdeen where he studied Cinema. His third film,UTOPIA was selected as the Afghan entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 88th Academy Awards and at Golden Globes.

UTOPIA and it's lead actress Leila Hatami (who also played a leading roles in Asghar Farhadi’s Oscar winning ‘A Separtation’.) both earned great critical acclaim on the festival circuit & beyond. 


Benjamin Gilmour is an acclaimed writer and filmmaker, director of the feature films JIRGA, PARAMEDICO, and SON OF A LION.

His feature film JIRGA, set and shot in Afghanistan, was Australia’s entry to the 91st Academy Awards - Best Foreign Language Film.

Benjamin is also the author of several books, including ‘Warrior Poets’ (Pier 9) and ‘Paramedico – Around the World by Ambulance’ (HarperCollins).


His latest book, ‘The Gap’, about his work as a paramedic, is published by Penguin Random House. He lives in Northern NSW, Australia.


Ashley Faye serves as Development Director for Refugee Services of Texas, ensuring development efforts are active, ongoing and innovative.

 Ashley served as Development Director at a global health NGO in Phoenix, Arizona and has worked with refugees, trafficking survivors, system-involved youth and adults and indigenous communities in a variety of programmatic and development roles for 15 years.

Ashley holds a Master of Arts degree in Social Justice and Human Rights with an emphasis in Nonprofit Management and two Bachelor of Science degrees in Justice Studies and American Indian Studies.


The conversation will be moderated by : Professor Kamran Asdar Ali

Kamran Asdar Ali is professor of anthropology, Middle East Studies, and Asian Studies in the Department of Anthropology at  UT Austin. He served as the the Director of the South Asia Institute at UT Austin (2011-2017) and is his interests in his work covers topics of  Gender, sexuality, health, political economy, post-colonialism, labor history, and popular culture  in the Middle East & South Asia.  

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