Movie-makers struggle to keep local industry on track

Monitoring Desk

KABUL: A group of Herat artists recently started shooting a TV series – Magical World – with only one camera, a rented house and lots of determination. Despite their challenges they are intent on making a success of this and hope to find a sponsor once they have completed the first episode.

Their challenges are testimony to the struggling film industry in Afghanistan and they say with the 1,000 to 1,500 AFs they earn a day, they are forced to work other jobs as well in order to survive. TOLOnews journalist, Samim Faramarz, discusses the problem with some of the artists. “After starting the series we are trying to find a sponsor, or we will sell the series to local television stations to recoup our expenses,” said Abdulrashid Azimi, one of the filmmakers.

The film industry has in the past proved a difficult industry to sustain and women in particular find it difficult to earn a living in the sector. “No government worries about it, nor do the people, and some people working in this field have to deal with problems from all sides, from college, from government, from the family side, and then the person loses hope and leaves the industry,” said Rahila Rezai an artist.

Among the group is Freshta Rasouly an actress appearing in the series. But she says in order to survive she runs a fast food restaurant. “Eight in the morning I open the restaurant and prepare everything, at the moment my colleague is sick and I have to cook too; when she is here she does the cooking,” said Rasouly.

Freshta in turn provides job opportunities through the restaurant to six other people. However she said the work is exhausting, especially as she also works in the film industry – her true profession she said.