The government is preparing to host a film festival showcasing Afghan filmmakers in November, a move hoped to encourage the cinema industry, which has struggled over the past two decades.
Afghan filmmakers both inside and outside the country have been invited to send their movies for the Lajaward (Lapis Lazuli) Film Festival.
This would be the first annual festival hosted by the government. Two other annual festivals, the Herat women’s film festival and Mehrgan festival, have been held for the past few years.
Movies made between 2003 and 2020 can be nominated in five categories, according to Afghan Film officials.
“I hope that we all attend the festival. I will present three movies in the festival,” said Humayun Paeez, a filmmaker.
20 dramatic films, 40 short films, 15 documentary films, 30 short documentary movies and five animation movies will be selected to compete in the event.
The festival will continue for 10 days and the awards will be announced on the last day.
“The festival will be held by the government. We have given two months for filmmakers to send in their movies. There is no limitation on movies,” said Maryam Jahan, an organizer of the festival.
This is the first time that the government is preparing for such a festival in the 52 years since the establishment of the nation's film organization, Afghan Film.
“The festival will help the filmmakers produce good movies as they will be assessed every year and the country’s cinema will be reviewed through it,” said Sahra Karimi, chairperson of Afghan Film.