The Venice International Film Festival has called upon Afghan
Sahraa Karimi and Sahra Mani to speak about Taliban’s takeover of
Afghanistan with “particular attention to the situation of filmmakers and
artists”, reports news agency PTI. Taliban, a hardline Islamist group, has always
frowned upon cinema. Taliban’s conquest of Afghanistan is said to have created
a crisis for filmmakers and others on the cultural space.

Also Read | I took only my cameras and dead soul: Afghan woman filmmaker flees country

The Venice Film Festival, now in its 78th edition, will be held
on the Lido from September 1 to 11. The movie gala, also called La Biennale di
Venezia, is expected to host the Afghan filmmakers on September 4 at 3 pm.

The topic of the panel is “the dramatic situation of Afghan
filmmakers and artists in general, the need for creation of humanitarian
corridors and the guarantee of the granting of political refugee status, as
well as concern for their future and the need to provide for their
accommodation once they arrive in Europe.”

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The Taliban took over Afghanistan on August 15. Since then,
thousands of Afghans have had to flee the country. While many have chosen to
flee for fear of retribution for working with the western alliance-backed
government, others have attempted to migrate in fear that Taliban rule would
mean the end of all civil liberties.

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Sahraa Karimi, one of the filmmakers invited to the panel, is
the first female president of the Afghan Film Organization. Following the
Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan, Karimi wrote an open letter to the film
community of the world to be the voice of the people of Afghanistan. The letter
went viral on social media and was shared by filmmakers across the world
including Indian film director Anurag Kashyap.

Also Read | “This silence is not fair”: Anurag Kashyap shares Afghan filmmaker’s open letter

Sahraa Karimi’s feature film “Hava, Maryam, Ayesha” was screened
at Venice Horizons (Orizzonti) sidebar in 2019.

Meanwhile, Sahraa Mani is a documentary filmmaker. Her film “A Thousand
Girls Like Me” will be part of the film festival. Mani is also expected to
present a project at the CoProduction Market of the Exhibition. The panel where
the Afghan filmmakers are expected to speak will be moderated by Italian
journalist Giuliano Battison.