Safia Azimi, a young woman who is an actress in Balkh, says she is trying to become a famous actor.
Azimi has been working as a film actress in Balkh for a year and she played a key role in the movie "Enough of the Hunt."
Azimi says she became interested in cinema as a child and began work this past year.
She faces challenges:
“Our people think that entering the film industry is bad, but in fact this is not true because cinema is the best place,” Azimi said.
Conservative culture--and judgements about the moral character of actors in particular--are serious obstacles on top of the already enormous challenges of being a professional artist.
Azimi says that despite the challenges she will continue.
Abdulraouf Samad is another film actor in Balkh province who has 12 years of experience in cinema and has performed in 12 movies.
Samadi sees security threats as the main challenge facing actors in Balkh province.
“Security is very necessary for us and for our leaders to pay attention to--this is a big problem,” Samadi said.
Statistics from Balkh province's department of information and culture show that there are more than 100 film artists in the province, of whom thirty to forty people have left the industry.
“Thirty to forty of the artists from this province either left the province or went abroad. A few live in the province but changed their jobs--they are driving taxis or got other jobs,” said Sadiq Sarmastzada, who works in Balkh's information and culture department.
Although film artists in Balkh say some of their work is unknown due to the lack of movie theaters, residents in Balkh say they are passionate about seeing Afghan films.
“We are pleased to see our culture grow. Afghan films naturally represent events in the country,” said Dost Mohammad, a resident of Mazar-e-Sharif city.
According to the statistics of Balkh province's department of information and culture, there are six film institutions in the province. These institutions make movies and documentaries.
“Unfortunately, Afghanistan is poor and most of us have economic problems, especially our artists,” said Saleh Mohammad Khaliq, head of Balkh's information and culture department.
However, Balkh filmmakers say they are mobilizing to produce quality movies in the country.