A documentary about afghan artists
Director RUÌ DÍAZ | Producer JUAN CAMILO CRUZ | Camera CHRISTIAN RINKE | Editor ALETTA VON VIETINGHOFF | Production Company MONODUO FILMS Documentary 52 - 90 Minutes | Color HD | English-Dari | Afghanistan 2013 | Status IN PRODUCTION
Despite thirty years of conﬂict, and eleven years of military
Creative Despite War grows out of the motivation of giving a
occupation, despite violence, poverty, fundamentalism and
voice to the exciting new artistic movement in Afghanistan.
war, there is a blossoming artistic movement in Afghanistan
After many years of conﬂict, the image of Afghanistan in the
willing to be seen. Creative Despite War foregrounds some of
world is mostly related to terrorism, violence, and oppression,
the most innovative young Afghan artists in their struggle to
making it diﬃcult to discover the rich traditions and the
create and show their artwork in a country where freedom of
modern developments of the country and its people. Our
expression can often be life-threatening. Despite of this fact,
intention is to establish through art a common ground with
their art is slowly taking over the city: from paintings on
the Afghan society, that allows the international viewers to
Kabul’s semi-destroyed walls to heavy metal underground
see a life beyond the conﬂict, expanding their perception of
concerts, the ﬁlm takes us on a journey into Afghanistan’s
the country. In light of the withdrawal of the foreign troops in
growing artistic movement and into the intimate world of
2014, the art scene becomes a ﬁeld where afghan women
these artists, showing the impact of their artistic work on the
and men regain their means of self-expression, testing the
construction of a new Afghan society, and proving that there
limits of their society and developing new ideas for the future
is another perspective to see the country beyond the conﬂict.
VISUAL APROACH Avoiding the images that we are used to seeing on the mass
During this process, our intention is to follow the develop-
media, our intention is to create a very natural and beautiful
ment of their work, and the diﬀerent situations they will face
portrait of the city and the characters, that contrasts with the
through this month, to be able to understand the context in
usual sensationalist and brutal images that we normally see
which they live and work in, their struggle as artists in a
of Afghanistan outside of the country.
country like Afghanistan, and ﬁnally the way they ﬁght to
The main structure of the ﬁlm will be the one-month prepara-
achieve their dreams despite all the obstacles and diﬃculties
tion process of the artists to take part on the Sound Central
imposed by their reality.
Asia’s Modern Music Festival (Kabul’s most important Arts
We will capture them in their creative spaces to discover their
and Music Festival) and concluding with their presentations
talent and their artistic processes. We will also follow them
and exhibitions during the event. Throughout this month,
into their more intimate spaces to see their everyday life and
Shamsia will prepare herself to paint a graﬃti on the streets
their interaction with their closest people. We will place them
of Kabul for the ﬁrst time. The Anzugar Family will prepare a
in context by following them on the streets of Kabul to see
big family exhibition during the festival, with the intention of
their interaction with the city and its characters, and the way
showing their work to some American curators that could
it reﬂects into their life and their artistic work. This will lead
help them make an exhibition outside of the country. PPT will
us to dive deeper into the context of Afghanistan to see how
prepare what could be their last presentation in front of an
the situation of the country aﬀects and inﬂuences their work,
audience of kids, due to their current ﬁnancial situation which
showing their daily struggle and the obstacles they have to
has lead them to leave the stage for a while. And District
overcome in order to express themselves, which is the central
Unknown will present for the ﬁrst time in public their own
point of the ﬁlm. Finally, we will capture their presentations
record, in order to consolidate as the most important heavy
and exhibitions during the festival in order to see the impact
metal band in Afghanistan.
of their work in the afghan society and also to recognize the roll of art in the construction of the new Afghanistan.
THE ANZURGAR FAMILY
Ashraf and Folad Anzurgar are father and son, both recog-
Shamsia is the ﬁrst and only female street Artist in Afghanis-
nized Afghans traditional painters. Through their artwork they
tan. She started as a traditional painter, but after taking part
show diﬀerent faces of the story and the people of Afghanis-
on a graﬃti workshop in Kabul, she decided to change her
tan. Ashraf has been painting for all of his life, overcoming all
path and become a street artist. In her graﬃti’s, Shamsia
conﬂicts that Afghanistan has lived during the last 30 years.
represents the struggle of women in Afghanistan, and at the
He is also art professor at the Art School of the Kabul Univer-
same time their strength, power and beauty. After many years
sity. Folad is his son and his best student. They both live
of work, Shamsia is today a recognized artist in the internatio-
together in the same house with their wife’s and kids. A
nal graﬃti scene.
house which is at the same time their studio and exhibition
Due to the power of her message, Shamsia has painted walls
in streets of diﬀerent places of the world, but in Kabul, her
Ashraf and Folad are tired of not being able to support
own city, she has never had the chance to make a real graﬃti
ﬁnancially their family. Despite of being recognized painters in
on the street. She has only painted interior walls of her
the country, they struggle daily to be able to feed and educate
friends’ houses, made digital interventions in Photoshop, and
their family. They are also afraid of the situation of Afghanis-
painted the walls of the Kabul University where she teaches
tan and don’t have much hopes in the future of the country.
young artists to make street art.
They want to leave because they see a better future for them
This is about to change. With the support of the Sound
as artists and more opportunities for their family outside of
Central Modern Music Festival, Shamsia will be able to paint
the ﬁrst graﬃti made by a female artist in the stress of Kabul.
So they have a plan. They will organize a big family exhibition
She will have to ﬁght against a whole society and tradition.
in the National Gallery of Afghanistan in order to bring the
But nevertheless, as the powerful women she is, Shamsia will
attention of foreign art curators to their artwork. They believe
do everything to achieve her dream, and paint with colors the
that this important people might be able to help them make
grey streets of Afghanistan.
an exhibition abroad, which could mean for them ﬁnally to leave the country in the search for a better future.
PPT PUPPET THEATRE
They are the ﬁrst and only Independent Puppet theatre group
District Unknown is the ﬁrst heavy metal band in Afghanistan.
of the country. They believe that the future of the country is
They learned to make music playing covers of old metal
in the new generations, so they have developed a special
bands, and now after three years playing together, they have
approach to work with children, performing in schools and
ﬁnally found their own style and have started to write their
institutes, where young audiences can appreciate their
passion and receive their message.
Despite being often judged and misunderstood by their own
Due to the impact of their work, they have received ﬁnancial
families and the Afghan Islamic society, they have slowly
support of organizations like UNICEF, who have given them
established themselves in the underground and international
the opportunity to perform all over Afghanistan, bringing a
music scene of Kabul. Throughout their music, they have
message of peace, and reaching people even in the country
gained a big fan community that follows them on every
side, where nobody dares to go because of the conﬂict.
concert and presentation, setting the path to more and more
Despite of this fact, currently some of the members have had
young Afghans who are now starting to play metal due to the
to leave the group because since almost a year they haven’t
inﬂuence of their sound.
received any support to continue with their work. They have
They are currently in the middle of a new challenge: they are
had to ﬁnd other ways to sustain themselves and their
recording and producing the ﬁrst heavy metal album in the
families, being by the given circumstances obligated to leave
history of Afghanistan, which will be presented for the ﬁrst
time in public during the Sound Central Modern Music
But they haven’t lost their hope. PPT is preparing one last
Festival in Kabul. This isn’t going to be easy but they are
special show for the Sound Central Modern Music Festival.
willing to make it because they believe that this could make
This special performance could be their last presentation
them become a legend in their country, giving them more
together, or could also be the beginning of a new future for
chances to play internationally, and to be recognized in the
the group. Either way, the puppet theatre will take over the
world as the ﬁrst metal band of Afghanistan.
stage, and captivate the festival’s audience with their message of peace and hope.
DIRECTOR STATEMENT The ﬁrst time I visited Afghanistan, my image of the country changed completely. I discovered a world that I had never seen or even thought that could exist. I met beautiful people of all kinds that took me into their homes and showed me a diﬀerent face of the country. I fell in love with it. One day I met Shamsia. After getting to know each other, she introduced me to the artistic movement that was taking place in the middle of Kabul. I was surprised and amazed by the quality of the artists’ work and the power of their message. We became friends. One night, we were all together talking, and one of them said that it would be great to show their work outside Afghanistan, and that perhaps, it could help to change how the world saw them. I absolutely agreed because it had happened to me. In that moment I decided that I wanted to help them bring their work outside Afghanistan, and promised them that I would do it. And here we are now, ﬁghting just like them to make this dream come true.
THE DIRECTOR / RUÌ DÍAZ Ruì Diaz was born in Arica, Chile. He studied Communication Studies in Santiago University, Film Direction at the Center of Cinematograph Studies of Catalunya and has an MBA in Documentary Creation from the Barcelona University. In 2007 Ruì began working as a director and camera operator on diverse NGO projects in Pakistan and Afghanistan. In 2009 he made a trip to Ukraine, Russia, Mongolia, China, Pakistan, Kyrgyzstan and Turkey, and developed a cultural promotion project with Chilean television. In 2010 he made “Mirage”, a documentary ﬁlmed in the Atacama desert. Since 2012, Ruì works in Creative Despite War.
CAMERA / CHRISTIAN RINKE Born in Berlin Germany, Christian grew up in the ancient Inca city of Cusco, Peru. His love for documentary and his unique sense of adventure propels him to experience a natural transition into reporting and documentary ﬁlmmaking. After the apprenticeship at 747 studios in Hamburg, he obtained his professional degree in photography from the Hamburg Photographer’s Guild in 2007. His project “The Power of Football” is a documentary project about education and social rehabilitation through football in African townships such as Alexandra/Johannesburg, Kibera/Nairobi and in the streets of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. He has also featured in-depth reports about the negative inﬂuence of illegal gold mining on indigenous cultures in the Peruvian-Brazilian border region.
EDITOR / ALETTA VON VIETINGHOFF Born in Athens Aletta was raised in Greece, Switzerland and Hamburg. After ﬁnishing school she moved to Berlin to study Music and Education. Giving in to her dream of becoming involved in ﬁlm, she ﬁnally started to work at several Post Production companies and eventually became educated in audio-visual media design with focus on editing. Since 2008 she is a freelancing editor based in Berlin, working on various projects in Germany, UK and France including a documentary that was featured in the Panorama section of the 62nd Berlinale in 2012. Her latest short ﬁlm was also part of the short ﬁlm competition of the 2013 Max Ophüls Filmfestival. She also works as a lecturer for editing and will be holding a ﬁlm workshop in Lagos, Nigeria in cooperation with the Goethe Institute in 2013.
PRODUCTION / MONODUO FILMS Monoduo Films is a Berlin based sales and distribution company with a focus on challenging documentary ﬁlms related to art and social issues. It has successfully taken part in the distribution and sales of documentaries like "Last Days Here" by Don Argott and Demian Fenton, winner of the IDFA Play Award in 2012, "We don’t care about Music" anyway by Cédric Dupire and Gaspard Kuentz, "Backyard" by Árni Sveinsson or "Leave Them Laughing" by Oscar winning director John Saritzky among others. "Creative Despite War" is their debut ﬁlm as investors and producers.
PRODUCTION STATUS After ﬁnishing our research, we developed the project and made a ﬁrst shooting in Afghanistan for a period of two weeks. As a result of this visit, we consider to have approximately 30% of the material we need already shot. Currently we are looking for co-production partners, presales or independent investors in order to ﬁnd the resources to make our last visit to Afghanistan and the post postproduction of the ﬁlm. On this last visit we will follow the artists for a month during the process of preparation for the Sound Central Modern Music Festival which will take place on the 5th of May in Kabul
BUDGET Program: CREATIVE DESPITE WAR Format: COLOR HD Producer/Director: Juan Camilo Cruz / Rui Díaz Locations: Kabul, Hamburg Budget date: 01/02/2013
Research: Prep: Shoot: Wrap: Post: TOTAL:
ABOVE THE LINE
2 2 21 3 8 13
weeks weeks days (over 12 wks) weeks weeks weeks TOTAL BUDGET
Pre-Production and Development Producing Staff Rights, Music & Talent
14,720 15,500 2,280
TOTAL ABOVE THE LINE (A)
BELOW THE LINE
Crew & Personnel Production Expenses Travel and related expenses Post-production Office & Administration costs
15,715 14,597 6,310 12,161 4,931
TOTAL BELOW THE LINE (B) SUBTOTAL (ATL + BTL) CONTINGENCY FISCAL SPONSOR FEE
86,214 € 8,621 4,742
€ 84,857 €
CONTACT MONODUOFILMS Juan Camilo Cruz email@example.com +49 (0) 1577 1587 531 Laubestraße 7 12045 Berlin Germany www.monoduoﬁlms.com Rui Díaz firstname.lastname@example.org +49 (0) 01578 7834 946
A documentary film about afghan artists.