Sunday, March 9, 2008

An open letter to the Cultural department of Municipality of Milan, Film schools, cultural- artistic associations and film productions in Milan

Subject: Support for conducting a festival of documentary and short films from Afghanistan in Milan


As an Afghan filmmaker currently living in Milan, I would like to conduct a one week short and documentary festival of films from Afghanistan here in Milan. After being here for nearly five months, I can feel the need to introduce my country to the Italian public. This is an important period for both countries. My filmmaker colleagues in Afghanistan agree, and are keen to send their films to be screened here.

Therefore I would like the cultural department of Municipality of Milan, arts associations, film schools and film producers in Milan to support the concept of an Afghan film festival.

Why and what is the need for this festival?

Visuals of Afghanistan has always been confined to archive images that are repeated in the media when Afghanistan enters the media cycle. These images only show Afghanistan to be a war torn and dusty place. However, there are many other things about Afghanistan that can show the current reality of Afghanistan, especially for audiences and readers in countries, like Italy, that are involved in Afghanistan’s reconstruction and peace process.

It is very important for these people to see the results of their contributions to this process and especially in developing a democratic government. Cinema can reflect a better and clearer image of Afghanistan for them than violent news or archival footage.

The art and literature of a country can play a major role in connecting people and introducing them to the others. The latest example “The Kite Runner” a best selling book in the US has become a film, and once again reminds people about Afghanistan.

Having fled from death threats in his own country, Amin Wahidi, the exiled young Afghan filmmaker in Milan Italy wants to take the initiative of introducing his country to the Italians through the films of young and independent Afghan filmmakers. He would also like to link the filmmakers of both countries through this film festival to have cultural – artistic connections and relations in the future.

While looking forward to receiving positive reactions from the readers of this open letter we are still working on the programming and planning of this small festival. Soon we will write the details of program of the festival in this blog.