Congratulatory messages poured in on the appointment of Sahraa Karimi as Director General of Afghan Film, the country’s state-run film production company established in 1968.
Filmmaker and director, Karimi, is the first Afghan woman who was appointed to the post through a merit-based process in the Independent Administrative Reform and Civil Service Commission.
Angelina Jolie, a former Hollywood actor and the Special Envoy of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, in a letter to Karimi, described her appointment as a historic achievement for women in Afghanistan.
“I was moved to hear of your recent historic appointment as the Director General of the Afghan Film production company. I wanted to write to congratulate you on your remarkable achievement. Afghanistan is very close to my heart and I can imagine how much your appointment means to your fellow countrywomen in particular,” she wrote.
She pledged to support Karimi's efforts for the filmmaking industry in Afghanistan.
“If there are ways that I or my office can support your efforts, and filmmaking in Afghanistan, I hope you will let me know,” the letter reads.
On Sunday, Karimi officially started her new job.
Acting Minister of Information and Culture Hasina Safi described Karimi as an outstanding and talented filmmaker.
“We have got our outstanding and talented sister Sahraa Karimi as director general of Afghan Film and she does not need more introduction,” said Safi.
Talking to TOLOnews, Karimi said that at first, she did not take Angelina Jolie's letter serious but later she found out that it was a real appreciation from her success.
“First, I thought it is a joke. I wanted to say that it is not possible. One is a letter you receive from a person which represents from one person, but the other is one that you find a supporter. It means that my appointment to a job even brought joy to those outside Afghanistan,” Karimi explained.
She said that there is a lot to do in this field and in her new mission.
“If they ask me to bring a stone from the mountain in an hour, I find thousands of ways to bring that stone. It is normal for me. But if they say and explain how I will bring that stone, this will take some time. I want to say that I am a practical person rather than an administrative individual,” added Karimi.
Karimi, 30, has more than 10 years of experience in filmmaking and has directed at least 30 movies.
She has a Ph.D. in cinema from the Academy of Music and Performing Arts, Film and TV Faculty in Bratislava, Slovakia.
Karimi is the first and the only woman in Afghanistan who has a Ph.D. in cinema and filmmaking.
She has been actively engaged in filmmaking in Afghanistan in the last six years. She has produced and directed 30 short fictions, two documentary films, and one long-fiction film.
Her pictures "Afghan Women behind Driving the Wheel, Memoirs of an Immigrant Girl, and In Search of Fantasy" have won international awards.
In her latest movie, "Eve, Maryam, Ayesha", she has reflected the real life of Afghan women.