Alka Sadat will be in attendance at the festival
In March, the Herat International Women’s Film Festival annually promotes an international competition to celebrate the International Women’s Day, whose aim is to encourage the fight for civil rights, gender equality and sexual self-determination. It was established by Roya Film House and Armanshahr Foundation/OPEN ASIA in 2013. The selection is open to any new talent who shows on the screen a positive image of women struggling with dignity to make a change in their environment. One of the main sections, Women Cinema, is indeed dedicated to female directors or female protagonists of films strongly in line with the civil themes that inspire the festival, making it the most prestigious Women’s Film Festival in the region.
In 2021, the HIWFF did not take place. In order to celebrate it anyway, the Short dedicates a special program to its founder, Roya Sadat, and the coordinator Alka Sadat. Roya. Sadat is a director, film producer and activist: she organized theater classes in hospitals while the Taliban regime banned music, film and television; in 2003, she founded the Roya Film House to promote the realization of stories from Afghanistan and in 2018 she won the International Women of Courage Award. Her debut as a director dates back to 2003 with the film Three Dots, when she made the risky decision to include women without veils in a country where the Taliban still represented a threat. Since then she has shot more than 30 works, including documentaries, feature films and television shows. The Short will present her film A letter to the president (2017), the award-winning story of a woman sentenced to death for trying to save a young girl accused of adultery. In search of justice, the protagonist writes a letter to the only person that could save her, the President.
Alka Sadat has always supported her sister in her cultural and humanitarian activities, taking part into the HIWFF organization as a coordinator and working for the Roya Film House. In 2006 she made her debut as director with the documentary First Number, winner of the Afghan Peace Prize. Since then, Alka Sadat has made several documentaries dedicated to Afghanistan and human rights that have been awarded in many film festivals. The Short will present her medium-length film Afghanistan Night Stories, shot in 2015: a journey into the soul of the Afghan army fighting with the Taliban force, in a period still far from the events that have recently led to the establishment of a new regime.
Afghanistan Night Stories – Qasa haye shab Afghanistan (Afghanistan, Documentary, 60’)
Written and Directed by Alka Sadat
Afghan special forces are leading the fight against the Taliban in the hope to have a better country. Nights of high tension in the battle against an invisible enemy. Four soldiers, who seal their fate to one another, ready for death at any time. Unexpected accounts of longing and of love take shape in the midst of an unforgivable war. Finally death awaiting the bravest of the group. An unprecedented journey in the heart of the Afghan Army, never told before.