Thursday 24 April 2014

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The Office of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) announced on Friday that working with the Afghan youth is a top priority for the UN Secretary General, Ban Ki Moon.

The UN recently helped organize a music concert in Bamyan in front of the Buddha statue to honor International Youth Day.

"For UN secretary general Ban Ki Moon, working with and for young people is one his top priorities. For International Youth Day he has encouraged member states, youth led organizations and other stakeholders to act to promote the rights of your young people and maximize the development potential of the youth around the world including of course in Afghanistan," an official from the UNAMA office in Kabul said".

At the concert in Bamyan, many youth and women showed up to watch and participate in the performances.

"I don't understand what kind of people are those who engage in warsand violence, because they disturb the general public and their own families," said Afghan singer Ms. Farzana.

Coexistence, tolerance, peace and youth mobilization against corruption were the focus messages of the UN-sponsored concert.

"Youths of the country should speak out against inequalities in society and they shouldn't remain silent. In the past, it was not like this, but the youth don't effect change, because they lack hope, confronted by all the problems in the country," famous Afghan signer Wahid Qasemi said".

"Singing is the only way that helps to convey any message to the people including the message of peace, it is the only means that support us to convey the message of peace to the world," said Aryana Saeed, a female Afghan singer.

The idea for the musical event in Bamyan was originally received with mixed feelings. While local clerics were opposed to it, civil society groups spoke out in favor and agreed to help organize.

Ultimately, with the UN's leadership, the concert was held successfully, although heavy security was needed.

Arts & Culture - Music

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Afghan film "A Man's Desire for a Fifth Wife" has been nominated for the US's Boston International Film Festival (BIFF) which will held in April.

The film festival will be held from the April 12 to April 21 at the Boston Massachusetts which showcases over 90 films annually.

The film, directed by Sediq Abedi, was made in northern Faryab and Balkh provinces and took about a year to make.

It tells the story of an Afghan man who desires to take a fifth wife, and through the story line explores the issues of violence against women. It also shows aspects of the traditional culture of Afghanistan.

The film runs for about 90 minutes and boasts more than 70 Afghan actors.

"The movies have been selected from more than 2500 movies for the US's Boston International Film Festival and it also registered in France's the Cannes International Film Festival and an international Australian film festival," said the director of the movie Sediq Abedi.

"I am sure that the movie has a good massage to the world and it's about the Afghan traditional cultural," he said.

The film festival, established in 2003, features independent films from around the world and the US. The festival has presented many acclaimed films including Academy Award winner for short film West Bank Story and includes feature films, short films and documentaries, with a strong emphasis on multi-culturalism.

Arts & Culture - Cinema & Theatre

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Two young Afghan actors will walk the red carpet at the 85th Academy Awards Monday after their US-directed film was nominated for Best Live Action Short.

Jwanmard Paeez and Fawad Mohammadi are the protagonists of Buzkashi Boys, the first Afghan-acted film to get an Oscars nomination.

Paeez and Mohammadi play two friends - one working in his father's blacksmith shop, the other working as an ispandi boy, asking people for money in return for blessing them with smoke from ispand to ward off evil spirits. They dream of national glory by aspiring to become champion buzkashi players.

The kids in real life, however, are very different; Fawad Mohammadi is an orphan who never acted in any films previous to Buzkahi Boys. He sells maps in the upscale Shahr-e-Naw district of Kabul. Jawanmard, the son of an established Afghan actor, has been acting since the age of five.

Director Sam French said his intention behind making the film was to reflect a different side of Afghanistan, one beyond the popular characterization of it as a country at war.

The Oscar nod seems to have inspired Afghan filmmakers to focus on developing indigenous Afghan cinema. Filmmaker Faqir Nabi urged his Afghan counterparts to develop the artistic merits of their own movies instead of imitating Indian or Pakistani movies.

"The nomination of Afghan actors for Oscars is a remarkable honor and achievement for Afghanistan. The Afghan filmmakers were previously imitating Indian and Pakistan movies and were focusing on action movies. This movie is a step forward for the Afghan film industry to be more artistic and professional," Nabi said.

Buzkashi Boys is squaring off against four other films in its category.

Arts & Culture - Cinema & Theatre

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Afghan film Sang-e Saboor received top gong of best feature film at the 5th international 'Didor' Film Festival held in Tajikistan on the weekend for its heart-breaking portrayal of a woman struggling to care for a husband seriously wounded in battle.

The feature film Sang-e Saboor (The Patience Stone), produced by Atiqullah Rahimi, depicts the life of an Afghan woman whose husband is paralyzed after he was hit with a bullet in his neck during the civil war and who has also lost his ability to talk.

Starring Golshifteh Farahani, Hamid Javedan, Massi Morowat and Hassina Burganm, the film explores the woman's trials and tribulations as she takes care of her husband in his much-changed state.

The film has also been selected as Afghanistan's entry for the Best Foreign Language Oscar at the 85th Academy Awards.

The Afghan film Nasima impressed in the short film category but was beaten by Russian filmmaker Shota Gamisoniya for his film "The Sea of Wishes".

Nasima, produced by young Afghan film-maker Sahra Karimi, portrays the memories of a young Afghan woman who travelled to Europe.

Didor was first inaugurated in 2004 as a Persian film festival, but gradually expanded its range to include films from the Middle East, Russia, Mongolia, Azerbaijan, Australia, and several European countries.

Arts & Culture - Cinema & Theatre

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