For the first time, a completely Afghan-made movie will compete in the Cannes Film Festival in France.
The documentary film, named Kocha-e-Parindaha (Birds Street), was funded by Afghan Film and directed by Hizbullah Sultani.
Sultani said he tried to convey the historical importance of the actual Birds Street in Kabul, and to show how the street offers a joyful diversion for visitors who come to enjoy the singing of the birds even as the country grapples with difficult times.
“The final phases of the film after production will include editing, color adjustment and voice adjustment. This film has made its way to the festival, now let us see whether our luck will bring us an award,” said Ali Hussain Hussaini, the film's editor.
Kocha-e-Parindaha is Sultani’s first documentary film. Previously he worked on dramatic productions.
This year, eight documentary films from South Asia will be shown at the festival in Cannes.
“We hope that producers from various regions of the world show an interest in this film so we are able to produce professional films from Afghan cinema,” said Sultani.
“This could be very important for Afghan documentary filmmaking and for an independent cinema in Afghanistan. The image they have of Afghanistan in these festivals is much different. But the Kocha-e-Parindaha film is a film that portrays a very different image of Afghanistan,” said Sahra Karimi, the head of Afghan Film.
"The movie shows that the life of the people continues here amid all these wars and insecurity -- their happiness, interests, culture and desires,” said Karimi.
In the last 20 years, nearly a dozen films made by Afghan directors with the aid of foreigners have been screened at Cannes, occasionally receiving awards. The film Birds Street, however, is the first independent film from Afghanistan at Cannes.