Centrul Astra Film


Astra Film Festival


Rokhsareh Ghaem Maghami,  Germany, Iran, Switzerland 2015 91'

Film Presentation:
In a hyper-conservative society where creativity, self-expression and self-agency for women are a privilege, Sonita, a gutsy 18-year old Afghan refugee in Iran, finds solace in socially-conscious rap. Tackling the meaning of personhood in the face of poverty and sexism, the film is one of many ethical dilemmas. It is also the perfect context for the young woman to transform her role of subject into that of active participant: she unabashedly stares into the camera, as if at us directly, while making her demands over how and when she is filmed. The documentary is as much a journey for Sonita as it is for the director, who is faced with a choice between her filmmaker-witness status and that of active influence on her protagonist’s world. Uplifting as it is challenging, the documentary is an improbable success story in the face of seemingly insurmountable obstacles.
World Cinema Grand Jury Prize: Documentary & Audience Award - Sundance 2016, Audience Award & Youth Jury Award IDFA 2015, Audience Award – IndieLisboa 2016, Best Debut Film – Biografilm 2016, Melbourne International Film Festival, SOS-Kinderdörfer Award – DOK.fest Munich 2016, Best International Feature – Special Mention – Documentary Edge Festival 2016, Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival 2016, Sheffield International Documentary Festival 2016, Cleveland International Film Festival 2016
Director's Bio-Filmography:
Iranian filmmaker, Rokhsareh Ghaem Maghami, studied filmmaking and animation in Tehran Art University. Her researches on animated documentary resulted to writing a book, named: “Animated Documentary, a New Way to Express”. She has made 6 documentaries and won more than 20 international awards. Her works include “Pigeon Fanciers”, “A Loud Solitude”, “Born 20 Minutes Late”, “Going Up the Stairs”, and the animated documentary “Cyanosis”, which had its premiere at IDFA 2011.
Director's / Curator's Statement:
„Sonita made me making a lot of difficult decisions..... When I started filming Sonita, All I had was a very decisive teenager with lots of dreams and lots of social, legal, family obstacles that had made any achievement impossible . I was thinking I am going to make a dark movie about how Afghan teenagers who have lots of dreams but will will not make it. A dark movie about painful situation of Afghan teenagers and child laborers in Iran. But I didn't have a big challenge , a major drama in my movie, yet. Things got changed When her mom came to Iran to sell her to a marriage, I was happy and sad. Happy that finally I have a strong story,but sad and troubled because I couldn't just shoot Sonita being sold to a marriage and I was hesitant whether I , as a documentary filmmaker should interfere in this situation or not. I would feel very bad if I had left her alone in bad situation , but then, it was not very convenient to break all the rules, appear in my own movie and rescue my own protagonist.“ (Rokhsareh Ghaem Maghami)
World sales:
Monday 17.10.2016 12:30, AUDITORIUM
Tuesday 18.10.2016 12:30, AUDITORIUM
Wednesday 19.10.2016 12:30, AUDITORIUM
Thursday 20.10.2016 12:30, AUDITORIUM
Friday 21.10.2016 12:30, AUDITORIUM
Saturday 22.10.2016 21:30, GONG
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