Bilateral relations between the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and the Republic of India have traditionally been strong and friendly. Reiterating this spirit, Pune International Centre (PIC) in collaboration with National Film Archive of India (NFAI) curated a one of its kind Afghanistan Film Festival at NFAI Auditorium, Pune on May 17th, 2013. It was an endeavour to introduce the beauty of Afghan cinema to the Indian audience.
The much anticipated film festival saw the presence of H.E. Shaida Mohammad Abdali, The Ambassador of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan to India, and Ms. Vaishali Bankar, Mayor of Pune as Chief Guests. Together with the Embassy’s Cultural Attache, the festival was patronized by Mr Siddiq Barmak, Afganistan’s leading filmmaker and Director, Afghan Children’s Education Movement.
The festival was a rare occasion for Pune cinema enthusiasts to watch a clutch of splendid films made in Afghanistan, many of them critically acclaimed and internationally awarded, including some nominated for the Oscars in different categories. Carefully curated, these films provided a moving insight into the story of Afghanistan; its fears, challenges, hopes and dreams.
The festival was well appreciated and the response was overwhelming. Some of the Afghan movies which generated a lot of interest at the festival included; ‘Opium War’, ‘The Kite Runner’, ‘City of Dust’, ‘Osama’ and ‘The Boy Mir-Ten years in Afghanistan’.