You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Siddiq Barmak’s ‘The Postman’ Presented at Open Doors Hub

War drama marks the third feature from Golden Globe winner Siddiq Barmak (‘Osama')

“The Postman,” the third feature from 2004 Golden Globe winner Siddiq Barmak (“Osama”), will be offered at Locarno’s co-production forum, the Open Doors Hub, one among an eight-project pack selected from the South Asian region.

David Wahab at Kabul-based Star Group produces “The Postman.” He previously worked on Zobair Farghand’s “Neighbors” and Homayoun Morouwat’s “An Apple from Paradise.” Founded in 2006, Star Group is a film company that is strongly rooted in Afghanistan’s present. Karsten Stöter at Germany’s Rohfilm, whose credits include Kirill Serebrennikov’s “Yuri’s Day,” is on to co-produce.

“The Postman” revolves around the devastating effects a son’s death from a rocket attack in Kabul has on his family. The mother buries herself in silence while the daughter runs the house. The father Amir, trying to find some relief, returns to his postman duties in a city surrounded by war. It is set in the winter of 1991, right before the battle of Kabul (1992-1996) and the Taliban Emirate (1996-2001).

“It’s a film about transformation and how ordinary people are at the heart of massive political upheavals. Like ‘Osama’ and ‘Opium War.’ it is about the human cost of tyranny,” Barmak told Variety.

When Amir’s younger son gets in trouble, the father asks Sailay, a letter reader for the secret police, for help. Amir then gets caught up in a convoluted web he barely understands.

“‘Osama’ was about a time in Afghanistan when we lost our history; we forgot the beautiful parts of our heritage and our place as the crossroads of the world. This film is about restoring our past to ourselves. Virtually every Kabuli has a story from this time, yet it is a mostly forgotten period,” Barmak added.

Barmak’s debut “Osama” hit Cannes Directors’ Fortnight taking a Camera d’Or jury special mention and the festival’s youth jury prize. Internationally sold by Cinema Without Frontiers, the feature was the first production to be made after the fall of the Taliban. It portrayed the religious fanaticism and misogyny during that era. “Osama” is the highest-grossing Afghan film ever, taking $3,800,000 worldwide from a production budget of below $50,000.

“This project needs to be made. It tells a human story in a war environment. We don’t see the tanks, the bombs. We see people finding out how to survive on a daily basis in this bubble. They have to keep working. I’ve no doubt it’s a great project,” producer Wahab told Variety.

Scheduled for shooting over March-April of next year in Afghanistan and Tajikistan, the Dari/Farsi-language “The Postman” is budgeted at $1.2 million.

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • Jason Lei Howden, Samara Weaving and

    Daniel Radcliffe On Acting With Weapons Nailed To Your Hands

    How did “Guns Akimbo” director and writer Jason Lei Howden convince Daniel Radcliffe to play a character with guns nailed to his hands? Easy, he sent him the script. Radcliffe joined Howden and “Ready or Not’s” breakout star Samara Weaving in the Variety’s Toronto Film Festival studio, presented by AT&T to talk the limits of [...]

  • Box Office: It Chapter Two Maintains

    Box Office: 'It: Chapter Two' Continues International Reign With $47 Million

    Pennywise’s reign of terror hasn’t wavered: Warner Bros.’ “It Chapter Two” maintained first place on box office charts, led by another strong showing overseas. The sequel, based on Stephen King’s horror novel, generated another $47 million at the international box office for a foreign tally of $169 million. After two weeks of release, “It Chapter [...]

  • First still from the set of

    Taika Waititi’s 'Jojo Rabbit' Wins Top Prize at Toronto Film Festival Awards

    Taika Waititi’s “Jojo Rabbit” has won the coveted People’s Choice Award at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival. The honor positions the film for a potential Oscar run and bolsters its awards chances. That’s good news for Fox Searchlight, which must have been disappointed by the lackluster critical reception for the movie, a dark comedy [...]

  • Constance Wu and Jennifer Lopez star

    Box Office: 'Hustlers' Racks Up Solid $33 Million Debut, 'Goldfinch' Bombs

    “Hustlers” rolled in the Benjamins this weekend, collecting $33.2 million when it debuted in 3,250 North American theaters. Boosted by rave reviews and stellar word of mouth, “Hustlers” beat expectations and now ranks as the best start for an STX film, along with the biggest live-action opening weekend for stars Jennifer Lopez and Constance Wu. [...]

  • German Cinema Is Diverse, But Is

    German Cinema Is Varied, But Is It Too Risk Averse?

    One of the strengths of German cinema is its diversity, says Simone Baumann, managing director of the national film promotion agency German Films. As well as the three films at Toronto directed by female German helmers, there was also German filmmaker Thomas Heise’s documentary film essay “Heimat Is a Space in Time.” Then there were [...]

  • Female Filmmakers in Germany Make Progress

    Female Filmmakers Surge Forward in Germany, But Still Face Obstacles

    Four feature films by German filmmakers screened at the Toronto Film Festival, and three of them were directed by women – Angela Schanelec’s “I Was at Home, But…,” winner of the Berlinale’s best director prize, Ina Weisse’s “The Audition,” and Katrin Gebbe’s “Pelican Blood,” the latter two both starring Nina Hoss. Germany’s Oscar entry this [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content