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Women Filming Group

Four months after the collapse of the Taliban regime, a handful of women journalists were the first and only voice to speak up for the silenced majority of Afghan women. Now at the forefront of the women’s movement, those brave and brilliant journalists work in Kabul, in Europe or in the US in media or international organisations, and travel the world to tell their stories.

AINA WOMEN’S FILMING GROUP was originally composed of :

Shakeba. 20 years old. She has always lived in Kabul. When she started filming ‘Afghanistan Unveiled’, she was a high school student, also work part time at Kabul TV in children’s programming. Shakeba participated in the camerawomen’s first one-hour documentary film, travelling to Badakhshan and Herat. She toured in France and Germany for festivals. She is also co-director of the four portraits, included in this collection, and trainee at YLE, Finish Public Broadcaster.

Mary. 27 years old. She has also always lived in Kabul. She travelled to Herat and Bamiyan for the first documentary film and co-directed ‘Shadows’.

Mehria. 21 years old. She worked as a high school teacher and also at Kabul TV. Mehria travelled to Badakhshan and Jalalabad for the first film and also toured Europe to show the documentary. She is now working full time in Aina as a video journalist.

Jamila. 20 years old. She completed her high school education in Pakistan. She returned to Kabul with her family in early 2002. Jamila produced her first news report in September 2002 for French TV and travelled to Herat, Jalalabad and Bamyan for the first film. She went to the US to present « Afghanistan Unveiled » and is now working full time in Aina as an editor/camerawoman.

Halima. 26 years old. She returned from Iran without her family in early 2002, in order to study journalism at Kabul University. She produced her first news reports for French TV in September 2002 and travelled to Bamyan and Herat for the first film. She represented « Afghanistan Unveiled » at Copenhagen film festival. She is now working full time in Aina as a video journalist. She is also co-director of the four portraits included in this collection.

and Gul Makai. 22 years old. She has always lived in Kabul. She is currently a university student. She travelled to Badakhshan for the first film and participated in an art project for a New York gallery. She is now coordinator of « Heading for elections », the fourth AINA production featuring the current Afghan democratic process. She is now working full time in Aina as a video journalist.

They were trained and finally directed a dozen of documentaries, shorts and current affairs on their day-to-day life in Afghanistan, mostly for foreign and international networks such as : PBS, BBC, CNN, TV5, AFP TV, Arte, YLE, ZDF etc.

I was lucky and am still grateful for having spent a year with them in Kabul and in the field to give them support in unveiling some of their stories.

Main achievements :

  • build strong relationships for news & short stories with ARTE, ZDF, TV5, AFP TV.
  • supervise & mentor the 15 people staff news agency : schedule, budget, dispatch and deliver.
  • fundraising and prime interface with international donnors: USAID, UNESCO, EC, Worldbank.
  • 250KUSD of sales revenue generated.
  • Emmy Awards nomination as  ‘Best Documentary’.
  • Selection in festivals & promotion in markets.

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