Sahraa Karimi becomes the first woman in Afghanistan to run Afghan Film

Afghan female filmmaker and director, Sahraa Karimi, has been appointed as Director General of state-run Afghan Film. This is the first time that a woman will head the government-run film production company.

Karimi earned her position after competing with other eligible candidates through a series of tests conducted by the independent administrative reform and civil service commission, Afghan news agency TOLOnews reported.

“Sahraa Karimi received the required marks for becoming head of the Afghan Film in a free and fair process, which was attended by a large number of applicants,” said Farid Ahmad, spokesman of the commission.

Karimi, 30, is the first Afghan to obtain a PhD in cinema. Over the last 10 years, she has directed more than 30 films including short fictions, two documentaries and a long-fiction film. Some of her international award-winning films include, “Afghan Women Behind Driving the Wheel”, “Memoirs of an Immigrant Girl”, and “In Search of Fantasy”.

“War has affected Afghanistan’s cinema in terms of production, but our films can be very rich in terms of content because our country is full of colorful stories,” Karimi told TOLOnews.

Angelina Jolie, a Hollywood actress and film director, congratulated Karimi on her appointment to this position, describing it as a historic achievement for women in Afghanistan. “I was moved to hear of your recent historic appointment as the Director General of the Afghan Film production company. I wanted to write to congratulate you on your remarkable achievement. Afghanistan is very close to my heart and I can imagine how much your appointment means to your fellow countrywomen in particular,” Jolie wrote in a letter.

Karimi officially started her new job on 19 May 2019. At a time where the country’s most talented are leaving the country, Karimi’s dedication to boost Afghanistan’s film industry will serve as an inspiration to young people.

Shabnam Latifi, a journalist in Kabul-based Khurshid TV says women like Karimi promote the values of patriotism. In an interview with The Migrant Project, Latifi said: “She shows the path for Afghan girls. Remaining in our own country and working to build up our homeland is bravery.”

TMP – 08/06/2019

Photo credit: Sahraa Karimi/Facebook

Photo caption: Sahraa Karimi, 30, becomes Afghanistan’s first female Director General of Afghan Film