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Venice: Angelina Jolie Gives Shout-Out to Afghan Film ‘Hava, Maryam, Ayesha’

Angelina Jolie has given her support to female-led Afghan film “Hava, Maryam, Ayesha,” made by first-time director Sahraa Karimi. The pic, which has its world premiere Friday at the Venice Film Festival, chronicles the lives of, and the difficult choices facing, three Afghan women from different social backgrounds.

In a statement of support, Jolie called it a “delicately made and moving film [that] 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.”

The film was made with an entirely local Afghan cast and crew. And it was produced by female producer and sales agent Katayoon Shahabi from Noori.

“Every film made in Afghanistan is a triumph against the odds,” Jolie said. “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.”

Karimi said: “We would like to thank [Venice chief] Alberto Barbera and the Venice festival for inviting my movie and giving me a platform to bring attention to the issues my country is facing – in particular, the need to guarantee fundamental women’s rights in Afghanistan. Gender equality enables a country to gain prosperity and is fundamental for global peace.”

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