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The Orphanage (Parwareshgah), by Shahrbanoo Sadat
The Orphanage (Parwareshgah), by Shahrbanoo Sadat

The Orphanage (Parwareshgah), the second part of Shahrbanoo Sadat’s pentalogy, has been selected as one of the feature films at the 2019 Directors’ Fortnight (Quinzaine des Réalisateurs). Her first feature film, Wolf and Sheep, the first of a total of 5 films planned, screened at the sidebar in 2016 and was awarded with the main prize. The pentalogy is based on an unpublished autobiography by Shahrbanoo’s friend, Anwar Hashimi.

In the late 1980’s, 15-year-old Qodrat lives in the streets of Kabul and sells cinema tickets on the black market. He is a big Bollywood fan and he daydreams himself in some of his favorite movie scenes. One day, the Police bring him to the Soviet orphanage. But in Kabul, the political situation is changing. Qodrat and all the children want to defend their home.

The Orphanage (Parwareshgah), directed by one of the few pioneer female Afghan directors: Shahrbanoo Sadat, was shot on locations in Tajikistan, Germany and Denmark.>

The film is based on Anwar’s memories in a Kabul orphanage during 1980’s Afghanistan, when the country was under pro-Soviet rule. The teenager Qodrat goes from his life on the streets of Kabul to a Soviet orphanage, where he lives until the Mujahideen violently overtake the country and incites the civil war. The film shows the everyday life inside an orphanage in Afghanistan ruled by Soviet values. In addition, there are musical elements inspired by the Bollywood films from the time, which were screened in Afghan cinemas. The film is produced by Katja Adomeit for Adomeit Film in Denmark, co-produced by Adomeit Film in Germany, La Fabrica Nocturna Cinéma in France, Samsa Film in Luxembourg and Wolf Pictures in Afghanistan. It is funded by Eurimages-Council of Europe, Film Fund Luxembourg, Arri-International Support Program, Copenhagen Film Fund, The Danish Filminstitute, Cinema Du Monde, Filmförderung Hamburg Schleswig-Holstein, World Cinema Fund, TorinoFilmLab, Cinereach, Creative Europe MEDIA, Hubert Bals, Asian Cinema Fund.

Shahrbanoo Sadat is an Afghan female writer and director, based in Kabul. She studied at Atelier Varan Kabul. Her first feature film Wolf and Sheep was developed with the Cannes Cinéfondation Residence in 2010. Shahr – 20 years old at the time – was the youngest director ever selected. The film won the main award at Directors’ Fortnight 2016. Her second feature film, The Orphanage (Parwareshgah) follows Wolf and Sheep as being the second part of a planned pentalogy, five films based on an unpublished autobiography. It will be presented at Directors’ Fortnight in 2019.

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