The Venice Film Festival has announced that a panel of Afghan filmmakers will discuss the protection of artists and filmmakers following the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan. This is the first initiative of its kind undertaken by the Venice Biennale, the festival’s organizers.
Set to take place on September 4 at the Palazzo del Casinò in Lido, the panel will feature Afghan filmmaker Sahraa Karimi. She is the first female head of the national cinema body Afghan Film and had her film Hava, Maryam, Ayesha featured at the 2019 Venice Film Festival. The director has also been drawing attention to the plight of Afghan people under the Taliban rule, warning that this could even mark the end of Afghan cinema. Speaking to Hollywood Reporter, Karimi said, “We cannot let the world forget, or it will be the end of Afghan cinema.”
According to a statement from the festival, the dedicated panel will be themed around the situation of filmmakers and Afghan artists, and the “need to create humanitarian corridors and a guarantee that they will be granted the status of political refugees, in addition to concern about their future and the need to help them get settled once they reach Europe.
The panel will be moderated by Giuliano Battiston, an Italian journalist who has made Afghanistan the feature of his work spanning research and essays. It will also feature Afghan documentary filmmaker Sahra Mani, and Vanja Kaludjercic and Orwa Nyrabia who are the artistic directors of the Rotterdam International Film Festival and the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam respectively, as well as Matthijs Wouter Knol and Mike Downey from the European Film Academy.