4-10 October 2013 #676

Eyes on Afghanistan

To help audience sift through the many offerings of the festival, Film Southasia has organised two special curations for more directed viewings. While Alpavirama 2011, was screened on 1 October, Afghan Eyes, will be shown throughout the festival.

Curated by journalist Taran Khan, the selections from Afghan Eyes showcase the war-torn, globalised, and otherwise fluid environments of various communities in Afghanistan and offer insights that are often lost, despite extensive media coverage on the region. Nepali Times caught up with Khan over email to get her views on the selected films and her expectations of FSA.

Nepali Times: What is the importance of showcasing Afghan films given the current circumstances in the country?

Taran Khan: Afghanistan is at an interesting juncture in its modern history: on the eve of the NATO withdrawal and with uncertainty looming over its future. It is important to give space to voices of Afghans and Afghan filmmakers, who represent a window into the country. At the same time, while curating the package, we wanted to represent in some ways the process of these changes and how they have unfolded over the past decade. So watching these films will give a sense of movement and transformation, as they are from different periods over the last few years.

What are your expectations from FSA 2013?

Usually films made by foreign crews or well-known channels and production houses get good visibility and publicity, whereas films like the ones we are screening in Afghan Eyes are harder to access and fewer people know about them. The festival provides a good platform for such kind of work. When we screened these films at other venues we got very encouraging response and I am hopeful that the audience in Kathmandu will be similarly receptive. I also hope the films will create an understanding of the diversity of the kind of work being attempted by contemporary directors and encourage viewers to talk and look at Afghanistan differently.