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Oscars: Afghanistan Chooses ‘Hava, Maryam, Ayesha’ for International Feature Film Entry

Afghanistan has chosen Sahraa Karimi’s “Hava, Maryam, Ayesha” as its entry for the newly re-branded international feature film award at the 92nd Academy Awards, it was announced Friday.

The film is the story of three Afghan women from different social backgrounds who live in Kabul and are facing big challenges in their lives. Hava, a traditional woman who is pregnant, lives with her father and mother-in-law. Maryam, an educated TV news reporter, is about to get a divorce from her unfaithful husband when she finds out she is pregnant. Ayesha, an 18-year-old girl, decides to marry her cousin because she is pregnant from her boyfriend who disappeared after hearing the news.

“Hava, Maryam, Ayesha” held its world premiere at the 2019 Venice Film Festival in the Orizzonti section and is produced by female producer and sales agent Katayoon Shahabi from Noori. It’s currently playing in cinemas in Kabul, Afghanistan.

Ahead of the premiere, Angelina Jolie sent a message of support to the director, cast and crew of the film. She said: “This delicately made and moving film chronicles the lives of young women in contemporary Afghanistan. It shows the grace, beauty and spirit of Afghan women as they navigate marriage, love, friendship, family and motherhood. Every film made in Afghanistan is a triumph against the odds. At a time when the future of Afghanistan is hanging in the balance, it reminds us of all that is at stake for millions of Afghan women, who deserve the freedom, independence and safety to make their own choices – in their own homes, and throughout society as a whole.”

 “Hava, Maryam, Ayesha” does not currently have a US distribution deal.

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