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Balkh filmmakers pushing through financial issues

Balkh filmmakers pushing through financial issues

Sep 08, 2017 - 22:20

MAZAR-I-SHARIF (Pajhwok): Filmmakers and artists in the capital of northern Balk province say they have been facing numerous issues and the government should give them special attention.

There were two cinemas in Mazar-i-Sharif before the civil war but none of them exist now.

Artists in the province say the lack of financial and technical facilities have rendered pale the film industry.

They also consider foreign soaps played on local TV channels as a challenge to the Afghan movies, which they say have flopped as no one watched them. They argue filmmakers could barely meet their operation costs.

Shabnam, a resident of Mazar-i-Sharif, said she has been working as an actress in Afghan movies over the past one decade.

She told Pajhwok Afghan News the government did nothing to encourage artists and support their performance.

She admitted a lot of change in people’s attitude and understanding of the cinema and art had taken place as compared to the past. However, she said artists were still denied facilities which could ensure their success and development.

Shabnam said she had so far worked in dozens of short story films but she hadn’t been offered such a movie which could bring an essential change in her life.

She termed the art and cinema as vital tools to convey strong messages for social change and she asked the government to pay serious heed to this sphere.

Mahmoud Sakhi, a former singer at the government-run Radio Television of Afghanistan (RTA), said he found his way to acting in films with the help of Afghan Film Company in the past few years.

According to him, if the government and national traders supported the industry, it would start reviving not only in Maza-i-Sharif but all over Afghanistaninfo-icon.

Jamshid Jahanwar said he had been working in films’ production and acting field over the past 10 years in Mazar-i-Sharif city.

He has performed in dozens of movies in addition to producing three films himself. Jahanwar called financial issues as the most serious in running their affairs.

Jahanwar said broadcasting of foreign drama serials on Afghan TV channels was another big hurdle to attracting viewership for Afghan films.

He said in the past there were two cinemas in Mazar-i-Sharif, but now neither of them existed and it had created serious issues in displaying films after release.

“We make film amid a whole bunch of difficulties and economic issues, but its release to the market also does not fulfill the expenses.”

On the other hand, Balkh information and culture department’s art sector in-charge, Mohammad Sadiq Sarmastzada, said artistic activities had recently increased in Mazar-i-Sharif.

He said the only major issue the art and film industry faced was the absence of a cinema in the city. However, he promised work would be initiated soon on establishing a cinema in the city by the information and culture department.


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