Afghan Filmmaker Shahrbanoo Sadat Safely Leaves Afghanistan

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Kabul-based filmmaker Shahrbanoo Sadat has made it out of Afghanistan, her producer Katja Adomeit formally announced on Monday.

Sadat was able to make it through thronging crowds and Taliban checkpoints into the airport, along with nine of her family members, after numerous days of trying, said Adomeit, who is also CEO of Adomeit Film. Sadat is currently in Abu Dhabi and will soon board a plane to Europe. Her passage was aided by the French government and “help from people all around the world,” Adomeit said.

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Last week, Sadat’s friends contacted by Variety remained concerned for her safety.

Sadat’s first feature, “Wolf and Sheep,” was developed with the Cannes Cinefondation Residence in 2010. She was only 20 years old at the time, making her the youngest-ever selected for the program. The film went on to win the main award at Cannes’ Directors’ Fortnight section in 2016. It was the first installment of a pentalogy based on the unpublished personal diary of actor and writer Anwar Hashimi, who collaborated with her on the screenplay.

Her second feature, “The Orphanage,” is a continuation of that series based on the same diary. It screened at the Directors’ Fortnight in 2019. The third part of the franchise, titled “Kabul Jan,” is currently in development.

Sadat is one of a handful of Afghan filmmakers who has been able to leave the country. Last week, Sahraa Karimi was also able to escape, along with her two assistants and family members, to Kiev, with the help of authorities from Ukraine, Slovakia and Turkey.

Founded in 2011, Adomeit Film has offices in Germany and Denmark. Other projects it has been involved with include Daniel Borgman’s “The Weight of Elephants,” “Loving Pia” and “Resin”; Anna Eborn’s “Pine Ridge,” “Lida” and “Transnistra”; and Ruben Ostlund’s “Force Majeure” and “The Square,” among others.

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