Venice Film Festival invites Afghan directors to discuss Taliban takeover
The Venice International Film Festival of the Venice Biennale has invited Afghan directors to a panel to discuss the current situation in Afghanistan and its effect on filmmakers and artists at large. The 78th edition of the esteemed film festival will be held from September 1-11. And, the panel discussion is set to be held on September 4 at the Palazzo del Casinò.
According to the official site of the Venice Biennale, Afghan filmmaker Sahraa Karimi will be one of the participants on the panel. The first woman president of the Afghan Film Organization, Karimi recently escaped Afghanistan as the Taliban took control over the country. She has been a guest at the festival in the past with her movie Hava, Maryam, Ayesha premiering there in 2019.
Karimi has been appealing to cinema fraternities across the globe to focus on the danger that artists inside the country risk right now, urging them to extend protection. The panel will discuss these, alongside brainstorming how to help Afghan refugees get settled "once they reach Europe." Journalist Giuliano Battiston, who has extensively worked on Afghanistan, will be moderating the panel.
Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter, Karimi claimed the Taliban is already taking steps to censor or shut down the nation's film industry. Apparently, women associated with the field are yet to be fired but have been told to stay at home. The terrorist organization has "refused to speak to me at all, even though I'm head of Afghan Film," she said.
Ever since the Taliban took over, people have been hankering to escape Afghanistan. But the process has been severely affected by the deadly terror attack at the Kabul airport claimed by the Islamic State-Khorasan. The United States has warned that another attack was highly likely.
Apart from Karimi, Afghan documentary filmmaker Sahra Mani and members of the board of the International Coalition for Filmmakers at Risk (ICFR) will also participate in the panel. The prestigious movie gala plans to hold several such discussions. Directed by Alberto Barbera, Parasite helmer Bong Joon-ho has been appointed as the Jury President this year at the Venice International Film Festival.