Afghanistan Becomes First SAARC Country to Send Film Nominations to SAARC Film Festival 2021


Colombo: The Director of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) Cultural Center, headquartered in Colombo, Professor Prashanthi Narangoda, called on Ambassador M. Ashraf Haidari today. They celebrated the 10th Anniversary of the SAARC Film Festival in advance, cutting a cake to mark the event and to appreciate Afghanistan’s becoming the first SAARC member-state to send its film nominations for the 2021 SAARC Film Festival.

Professor Narangoda and Ambassador Haidari took note of the hard efforts of the Director-General of the Afghan Film, Dr. Sahraa Karimi, who has gradually but consistently revived Afghanistan’s film industry. The Director offered an invitation to Dr. Karimi to attend in person the SAARC Film Festival 2021, provided the COVID19 quarantine restrictions allowed. She also offered an open invitation to the Afghan Film Director-General to consider visiting Sri Lanka after removal of the COVID19 travel regulations, which the Ambassador appreciated.

Ambassador Haidari officially presented to Professor Narangoda Afghanistan’s film nominations, including:

  1. The Boy and the Kite - Jawad Afkar
  2. Hava, Maryam, Ayesha – Sahraa Karimi
  3. Turning Point – Hezbullah Sultani
  4. The Weaver – Mohammed Ayrek

In the 1980s, Afghanistan had a burgeoning film industry, working with like-minded artists of the region, including India, Iran, and Pakistan. However, the 1990s, especially under the misrule of medieval Taliban, Afghanistan’s film industry completely collapsed. In the post-Taliban era, the industry has slowly made a come-back, recently working hard to revive and exceed its former good days.

The SAARC Film Festival 2021 is scheduled to take place between May 4-8, during which international judges will screen, view, and then judge the top works for recognition. The Awards Ceremony would take place on May 9, and the Sri Lankan Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa is expected to be the Chief Guest of the Festival.


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