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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.

of Afghanistan.


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.





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 country.

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.




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

own songs.

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

the stage.

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:


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


32,500 €



Crew & Personnel Production Expenses Travel and related expenses Post-production Office & Administration costs

15,715 14,597 6,310 12,161 4,931




53,714 €

10.0% 5.0%

86,214 € 8,621 4,742





To Finance

€ 84,857 €


CONTACT MONODUOFILMS Juan Camilo Cruz +49 (0) 1577 1587 531 Laubestraße 7 12045 Berlin Germany Rui Díaz +49 (0) 01578 7834 946

Creative Despite War  

A documentary film about afghan artists.

Creative Despite War  

A documentary film about afghan artists.