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Cannes-Winning Afghan Director Shahrbanoo Sadat Trying to Escape Kabul

Shahrbanoo Sadat, one of Afghanistan’s best-known film directors is trying to escape Kabul following the latest development in Afghanistan as the Taliban takes over.

Sadat, who won the top Directors’ Fortnight award in Cannes for her first feature, the rural Afghanistan-set Wolf and Sheep, in 2016, while talking to Hollywood Reporter, reveals that like tens of thousands of Afghanis, is trying with her family to escape the country.

Sadat described the nightmarish situation she faces as she waits for news on whether she will be able to fly out from Kabul’s Hamid Karzai International Airport, where there were scenes of chaos on Monday.

“The problem is actually how to get to the airport and how to find the plane,” she tells The Hollywood Reporter.

“The first checkpoint at the very first entry of the airport is under the control of the Taliban. And there are so many checkpoints on the way to the airport.”

“So we are just waiting for that,” she explains, adding that she has had friends from around the world trying to help her out.

“It’s a great shock — we didn’t expect this to happen so soon,” says Sadat on the Taliban’s advancement.

“Living in Afghanistan, your ears get used to hearing about how the Taliban are on the way, the Taliban are in this part of the country and that part of the country,” she said.

“So you don’t really differentiate the danger anymore, because you hear these sentences all the time.”

“If I survive this and I have the chance to make more films, my cinema will have changed forever,”  Shahrbanoo Sadat added.

She went on to say, “I feel like like I’m observing, I’m watching injustice and something really horrible, and I just need to save it in my body, remember it and put it in films later, to share it with the world. If I survive this, I will make films about what happened.”

“I suppose if there’s one good thing from all this mess, it’s the energy created from the anger because people can do things,” she said.

“I can make films, others can write, other people can organize. There’s so much of this energy and we have to do something with it.”

Saman Siddiqui

Saman Siddiqui, A freelance journalist with a Master’s Degree in Mass Communication and MS in Peace and Conflict Studies. Associated with the media industry since 2006. Experience in various capacities including Program Host, Researcher, News Producer, Documentary Making, Voice Over, Content Writing Copy Editing, and Blogging, and currently associated with OyeYeah since 2018, working as an Editor.

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