New documentary “Afghan Cinema Exists” by Ali Orokzai sheds light on Afghanistan’s love for cinema and the rich heritage of films in the country

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New documentary “Afghan Cinema Exists” by Ali Orokzai sheds light on Afghanistan’s love for cinema and the rich heritage of films in the country

December 21
23:09 2021
“Afghan Cinema Exists” by Ali Orokzai is an eye-opening documentary about Afghanistan’s great legacy of filmmaking and its brave filmmakers who are not going to bow down before extremist forces.

Afghanistan – December 21, 2021 – The Afghanistan that we know of today, bereft of music, art, and cinema, is not the real Afghanistan. It’s unfortunate that the extremist forces have submerged the country in wars and oppression, so much so that the country has almost become synonymous with a war-torn nation.  However, unbeknownst to most parts of the world, Afghanistan loves cinema and the country boasts a rich heritage of films. In that light, leading Afghan actor and director Ali Orokzai has recently released a new documentary, “Afghan Cinema Exists”, that brings to light Afghanistan’s great contributions to the world of cinema and the country’s everlasting love for movies and moviemaking. 

Afghan Cinema Exists” was shot in Afghanistan in 2021. The film has been directed by Ali Orokzai. 

(In Frame : Ali Orokzai)

It was the Afghan king Habib Han who introduced “cinema” for the first time in Afghanistan in the early 1900s. But, in the initial stage, cinema in the country was mostly limited to the royal palace. It was Habib Han’s son, King Amanaolachan, who pioneered the public screening of cinema in the country in the 1920s.  

The first movie to be produced in Afghanistan was “Love And Friendship”. Directed by esteemed director Rasheed Latif, the movie was released in the year 1946.  

“Afghan Cinema Exists” focuses on some of the most significant and bravest filmmakers of the Afghan film industry who continued making movies despite multiple threats and attacks from extremist forces. One of them is Saeed Orokzai, a pioneering name in the Afghan film industry. His most famous blockbuster hit, “Mardha Ra Qawl Ast” (Men Keep Their Promises) is considered as a major revolution in the Afghan cinema scene. Some of his other famous movies are “Safar”, “Khakestar”, and so on. 

“Afghanistan has always been passionate about cinema, music, and the art of filmmaking. While our national directors have done a tremendous job in enriching Afghan cinema, the Afghan movie space has also welcomed Bollywood and Hollywood. Unfortunately, people across the world are unaware that Afghan cinema exists because of the war. And this documentary aims to shed light on Afghanistan’s rich heritage of cinema that is still unbeknownst to the world”, stated Ali Orokzai.

“However, regardless of the barriers created by the extremist groups, some of the extremely passionate Afghan filmmakers tried to bring back art in the country like before. Saeed Orokzai is one of the most glorious names here whom we always look up to.” 

“Afghan Cinema Exists” features an extensive interview of Saeed Orokzai which is shown in bits and parts all across the documentary. He has shared how movie producers and actors in Afghanistan had to face herculean challenges while making movies. Constant attacks and threats from extremists and religious groups made it extremely unsafe for the film crews to make cinema in Afghanistan. 

“We used to put all our hearts to our work without the fear of getting killed in the war. We faced a lot of dangerous situations, we were attacked by extremists, some of the team members got injured and killed… But we still continued making movies”, stated the most celebrated filmmaker of Afghanistan in the documentary. 

“There have been constant fights between fundamentalists and democracy in the country. We want democracy … We know, we have to fight. But we did not fight with guns and bullets.  We only fought with film reel, movie, and we tried to succeed.”

Added to Saeed Orokzai, the documentary also covers many other movie makers who tried to build Afghan cinema. Among them is the iconic Afghan filmmaker Siddiq Barmak who won the prestigious Golden Globe award for his movie “Osama”. The documentary also features interviews of famous Afghan actors, actresses, film production technicians, poets, writers, journalists, and so on. 

Yes, Afghanistan, its art, music, and movie industry are under severe threat right now. But a bunch of passionate and brave-hearted Afghan movie makers are determined to continue to make movies, no matter how many times the extremists try to derail the film rails, art, and music, and break their spirit.  

“Our goal is to make the world know that ‘Afghan cinema exists’ and that we are not going to stop”, noted a very determined Ali. 

For more information, please visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F0IsZlzehlY 

Media Contact
Contact Person: Ali Orokzai
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Country: Afghanistan
Website: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F0IsZlzehlY