Drama Hava, Maryam, Ayesha will represent Afghanistan in the best international film category at the Oscars.
Directed by first-time female Afghan filmmaker Sahraa Karimi, the feminist drama is the story of three pregnant Afghan women from different social backgrounds who each experience different but connected challenges relating to their culture.
The Venice world premiere, which is produced by female producer Katayoon Shahabi of Noori Pictures, has been championed by Angelina Jolie, who issued a statement about the movie before its Lido debut, “This delicately made and moving film chronicles the lives of young women in contemporary Afghanistan. It shows the grace, beauty and spirit of Afghan women as they navigate marriage, love, friendship, family and motherhood. Every film made in Afghanistan is a triumph against the odds. At a time when the future of Afghanistan is hanging in the balance, it reminds us of all that is at stake for millions of Afghan women, who deserve the freedom, independence and safety to make their own choices – in their own homes, and throughout society as a whole.”
The film is touted as the first independent Afghan film entirely shot in Kabul by a woman. The movie doesn’t currently have U.S. distribution but is being screened in Kabul, Afghanistan. Director Karimi was recently appointed head of the state-run Afghan Film Organization.
Also declaring recently for the International Oscar category have been Australia with Buoyancy, Singapore with A Land Imagined and Belarus with Debut.