Thursday, April 10, 2008

News from DeeDeeNow Cinema Productions

News from DeeDeeNow Cinema Productions

A night with Afghanistan in Milan; The smaller version of a week with Afghanistan in Milan – Italy

“A night with Afghanistan” is the title of a one-night screening of two short films from Afghanistan in Milan, Italy that was organized by Civil Services International, ASRI and Amin Wahidi on April 4 2008. “Treasure in the Ruins,” a short fiction by Amin Wahidi, and “Lima,” a short documentary by Mehdi Zafari, were on the program.

The audience of about seventy included cultural activists, cinema students, political science students, members of organizations working for refugee rights, and Afghan and Iranian refuges. There was a break for discussion and Q&A by the between the audience and Amin Wahidi after each film.

The main subjects were, current cultural activities in Afghanistan, freedom of speech, obstacles and challenges, efficiency or inefficiency of Western democracy in Afghanistan, and Afghanistan’s future.

Both films depicted the current situation Afghanistan. “Treasure in the Ruins” addressed the direct and indirect effects of war, of poverty and child labor, corporal punishment in schools, the lack of childcare and supervision, and the shocking state of the remaining ruins of the war. Who will take care of these war-orphaned children who have not shelter or guardians is the main question this short film addresses.

Homa is a young girl with a brother and sick mother in Afghanistan. She weaves carpet and she goes to school. Every night her mother tells the children a story so that they do not sleep and weave more carpet. Hearing one story Homa decides to go to the ruins and find “treasures” there in the ruins of Kabul but what all she finds are the symbols of war and destruction. Finally her mother dies. Remaining alone with her brother Homa burns and buries all she has found in the ruins.

“Treasure in the Ruins” was screened in a section of the 64th Venice International Film Festival 2007 and at the Milano Film Festival 2007.

The second short, “Lima,” is a documentary that also addresses the issue of children, however, not war victims, but the children who grow up in difficult social situations.

“Lima” means “eyesight” in Pashto. Lima is also the name of a little girl whose parents are blind. She is their only eyes, and their only hope. Mehdi Zafari made this short documentary with his own keen eye.

This program was indeed a smaller version of “One Week with Afghanistan,” a one- week film festival of short and documentary films from Afghanistan being planned for Milan, Italy.

A previous screenings of these films was sponsored by NAGA- HAR, an association that works for the rights political asylum seekers and victims of torture in Milan. Another screening is planned by ARCI BIKO a cultural and artistic association in Milan. Finally, another screening of the films in Bologna, Italy, is being organized by cultural activists of this city, specifically Isabella Nicoli.

One week with Afghanistan: short and documentary Afghan film festival in Milan, Italy

This is the title of a one week film festival in Milan which is being organized by exiled director of Deedenow Cinema, Amin Wahidi in August marking Afghanistan’s independence day. It is hoped that this festival will be expanded to other cities of Italy as a mobile film festival.

There will be 25 - 30 shorts and documentaries from that have been produced by the young and independent filmmakers of Afghanistan between 2002-2007.

This festival in addition to introducing Afghanistan and its culture to the Italian public and artists, will link filmmakers, cultural activists, and the people of both countries. It will keep Italians updated about what is going on in a country where their government is involved in humanitarian assistance and peace-keeping missions.

Although the official announcement of this film festival has not published, we will be grateful to any kind of assistance and co-operation of Afghan filmmakers within Afghanistan and Italian filmmakers here in Italy.

“Life, religion and love in Italy”
Although life is difficult for the refugees in Italy, Amin Wahidi, in addition to planning this one week film festival, wants to produce a short fiction film that he has recently written titled; “Life, religion and love in Italy.” This low budget short will be filmed by the end of June 2008, if we find a volunteer crew and equipment support in Milan.

The story of this short fiction depicts a part of lives of refugees and asylum seekers especially the Muslim Black Africans and the relation of Muslims and Christians in Italy.

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